Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

January 2014 News & Features

Laurie Loewenstein on the Smith College Relief Unit

To celebrate the release of Unmentionables by Laurie Loewenstein, we’ve invited organizations to share with us some history related to aspects incorporated in the novel. Today, Laurie talks about her decision to sent her protagonist to volunteer in France with the fictional Fielding College Relief Unit during the Great War. The Fielding College Relief Unit is based on the Smith College Relief Unit, founded in 1917 by Smith College alumna Harriet Boyd Hawes; archivists at Smith College have graciously allowed us to share a photo of and some information about the relief unit.

Spotlight on Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX)

To celebrate the release of Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, edited by Edwidge Danticat, Akashic will be spotlighting Haitian organizations on our website. Today, we’re pleased to feature Haiti Cultural Exchange, a nonprofit organization that develops, presents, and promotes the cultural expressions of Haitian people. Haiti Cultural Exchange cosponsored our recent Haiti Noir 2 event at the Brooklyn Public Library, and we invited them to tell us more about their organization.

Dark Days in Port-au-Prince (Part 3, Ibi Aanu Zoboi)

Read part one of DARK DAYS IN PORT-AU-PRINCE, our Haiti-set noir short story that was written by Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2: The Classics contributors in the style of an exquisite corpse, a collaborative writing process in which each author builds a story based upon what his or her predecessors have provided. Haiti Noir contributor Ibi Aanu Zoboi continues this haunting short story.

“Herbal Tea” by Steven Jay Flam

Harry was a twenty-two-year-old junkie who made his living pedaling marijuana to sailors on Telegraph Avenue. He would buy lid bags of Mexican for ten dollars apiece and resell them for twenty. Some nights he would sell five . . .

Women on the Chautauqua Circuit: Winsome Lasses and Ardent Advocates (by Kären M. Mason, Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City)

To celebrate the release of Laurie Loewenstein’s debut novel, Unmentionables, we’ve invited organizations to share with us some history related to aspects incorporated in Unmentionables. Set in 1917, Unmentionables tells the story of Marian Elliot Adams, an advocate for women’s rights who travels across the country on the Chautauqua Circuit, giving talks about the need for women to abandon constricting “unmentionables.” Today, Kären M. Mason at the Iowa Women’s Archives shares information about women on the Chautauqua Circuit in the early 20th century, and photos of women during the time.

Spotlight on FotoKonbit

To celebrate the release of Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, edited by Edwidge Danticat, Akashic will be spotlighting Haitian organizations on our website. Today, we’re pleased to feature FotoKonbit, a nonprofit organization to which a portion of the profits from Haiti Noir 2 will be donated. We invited FotoKonbit to tell us about their work and to share some of the photography produced by their students.


Featured: Black Interest