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Stories From the Tenants Downstairs

Sidik Fofana

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A truly unique debut set in a low-income housing project in Harlem which paints an original portrait of New York

'Sidik Fofana has an acute ear and a perfect eye' Lorrie Moore, author of Bark

'Every once in a while a new writer comes along and refreshes our notions of what fiction can do . . . Buy this book, and prepare to be blasted by the brilliance inside' Ben Fountain, author of Beautiful Country Burn Again

Banneker Terrace on 129th and Fred Doug ain't pretty, but it's home. Home to young and old, folk just trying to get by. Cookouts with beer and wings, summertime with souped-up cars bumpin music. People don't come here for the bad; they came here to make a good life.

It is home to Swan down in 6B, reconnecting with his boy Boons, just out of prison. Home to Mimi in 14D, raising Swan's child, doing hair on the side. Home to Quanneisha in 21J, longing to leave but it's where she grew up. Home to Mr Murray in 2E, who has played chess outside on the sidewalk for years. Some of the residents of Banneker have got it together, some can't make rent or pay bills, some are raising kids, some are hustling on the side, all are living.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs expertly showcases the strengths, struggles and hopes of one Harlem community, a community grappling with the effects of gentrification alongside their own personal challenges. It captures the joy and pain of the human experience and heralds the arrival of a uniquely talented writer.

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Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana earned an MFA from New York University. He lives with his wife and son in New York City where he is a public school teacher.

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