Author Archive for Mark Athitakis

Mark Twain’s D.C.: The “D” Is for “Drinkopolis”

In 1867, Mark Twain arrived in D.C. the way a lot of journalists fresh to the town do: confident, eager to insinuate himself into the political class, and dead broke. “I had gone to Washington to write The Innocents Abroad," he wrote in his autobiography in 1906. “But before beginning that book it was necessary to [...]

The Fiction Issue: Just Two Weeks Left to Submit!

What are you doing over the Thanksgiving holiday? Basting a turkey? Guiding out-of-town relatives around the Mall? Getting out of town yourself?
None of the above: You're hunkering down with the writing device of your choosing and forging in the smithy of your soul the uncreated conscience of Washington, D.C.
That is, you're working on your submission [...]

Washington City Paper’s Fiction Issue: Submit!

Calling all fiction writers: On January 2, Washington City Paper will publish its second annual Fiction Issue. If you've been looking for a chance to set free your inner Edward P. Jones, Danielle Evans, or George Pelecanos, here it is.
Once again we're looking for stories that are in some way about the District. Once again, we'd prefer these stories not [...]

George Pelecanos’ The Double, Reviewed

Middle age makes a lot of people itchy to start over: get a divorce, change careers, buy an impractical vehicle. D.C. crime writer George Pelecanos, firmly in his middle period as an author (he’s 56, with 18 novels behind him), seems to know the feeling: He started this decade by starting fresh. In his 2011 [...]

D.C. Author Danielle Evans on Judging the PEN/Bingham Prize

Wednesday the PEN American Center released its lengthy list of annual book prizes. Former City Paper staffer Katherine Boo took the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction for Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which is great news, but not a shocker for a much-decorated book.
The big surprise was the recipient of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, [...]

Commie Dearest: Elliott Holt’s Debut Novel Makes the Cold War Hot Again

Elliott Holt knows exactly when Homeland jumped the shark.
“In the middle of Season 2,” Holt says. We’re at Kramerbooks discussing her debut novel, You Are One of Them. But talking about the book means talking about her native D.C. and misperceptions about it, particularly about the relatively tony part she grew up in.
“The kids are [...]

Critic Katherine A. Powers: Why Book Translators Shouldn’t Get Short Shrift

Noir fiction started as an American phenomenon, but it didn’t take long to cross the pond. French New Wave directors took plenty of inspiration from authors like David Goodis and James M. Cain, and today the genre arguably lives and breathes most intensely in Nordic countries—thanks especially to the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, whose [...]

City Paper’s Fiction Issue: Three Weeks Left to Submit!

Last month we announced that City Paper will publish its first-ever fiction issue in 2013. (Thanks to DCist for spreading the word, and to the DCist commentariat for making the obvious joke.) We checked with Richard Peabody, the institutional memory of the D.C. literary community, about that "first" thing—City Paper has published fiction in [...]

Dinaw Mengestu on His “Genius” Grant and His New Book, All Our Names

Yesterday the wide world learned that novelist and journalist Dinaw Mengestu was one of this year's 23 MacArthur Fellows—recipients of so-called "genius grants." But Mengestu himself has had the better part of two weeks to ponder the prize, and after keeping the news to himself for a while, he's enjoying being able to talk about [...]

Now Open for Submissions: City Paper’s Fiction Issue

Hey! In early 2013, Washington City Paper will publish a fiction issue, and we're looking for contributors. FAQ below.
What kind of fiction are you looking for?
We're looking for previously unpublished stories that are in some way of and about the District. Feel free to define that as loosely as you like, though ultimately we'll be deciding [...]