Michael Rosen

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October 2010 Archives

I've just heard, in an email from a friend, that Carla Cohen has died. Carla was a co-founder (with Barbara Meade) of the extraordinary Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C - a bookstore you can nearly live in, a bookstore where people love books. A bookstore as bookstores can be. This is a Washington Post obituary about Carla.

Carla was joyous, a force, a person with the hottest burning passion for books I've known. I'm sad to hear of her death, and humbled by her life - respectful of how deeply we can live this life.

Carla became a great champion of What Else But Home. She invited me to a reading at her store in August, 2009, and produced a full house. Carla believed deeply in the need to end poverty in America, and tirelessly promoted my book from this passion. I'm shamelessly including a link to purchasing What Else But Home from Politics & Prose HERE. Because in the business of books, which I know a little and not a lot about, we're always told to include a link to buying a book at Amazon and B&N and the Indy way, but I wanted specifically also Politics & Prose, and nearly always put a link in somewhere.

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That's Carla, from last November, with (L to R) William, Phil & Juan. We stopped for lunch with Carla when we were speaking in D.C. Carla INSISTED we come so she could meet some of the guys, she INSISTED to them that they read ! She told them it was okay to stop reading a book if they didn't like it. Just put it down and go to the next book. She lectured me on what I was doing wrong and right. And she was so filled with passion it was hard to disagree with anything she said.

In Politics & Prose, last autumn, Carla featured my book as her specific recommendation:
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When I spoke at a bookstore in Philadelphia, two women came up to me, introduced themselves as Carla's sisters, that she insisted they come! When I spoke at a reading in New York, a young woman told me she was Carla's niece, that Carla insisted she come! Carla also insisted to me that President Obama had to read What Else But Home. The woman had vision.

Carla took me by the arm at a book association meeting, brought me to indy bookstore owner after owner. She mentored and pushed and taught me.

So Carla, love and love, appreciation and appreciation.

To David & Aaron, thank you, sadness & joy. To Carla's larger family of relatives and friends, thank you, sadness & joy.

 

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