Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: Manhattan

“Nightfiends” by Rob Hill

The riffraff of Tompkins Square wear wool jackets in the humid night, perhaps in defiance of the elements. The squirrels aren’t panhandling as usual. They’re preoccupied with something in the weeds behind a bench, what looks to your eye like a mangled piece of bread or a crumpled paper bag. A closer look reveals a human hand . . .

“Murder at the Apthorp” by E.B. Miele

Mid-eighties Manhattan, when the weird were weirder, the dirty dirtier, and neon orange tits pulsed the heart of Times Square. When hookers in hot pants and platforms sneered at the down-and-outers on 96th and Broadway, and even the cushiest berth, like the Apthorp, with its locked gates and classy facade, hid horror . . .

“Some Country” by Jacqueline Freimor

In the open side door of the school, Koenig leaned on his broom and watched the junior high children stream from the building at the sound of the bell. Line after line, they spilled through the front doors like cockroaches from the drains in the basement. He pictured a colony of roaches wearing yellow Star of David armbands and laughed . . .

“Superman” by Darryl Graff

I was born in 1962 in Stuyvesant Town, a middle-class housing development located on the East Side of Manhattan. When I was young, I used to see an older kid who rode his ten-speed bicycle through the neighborhood. He always wore a Superman costume, and he steered the bicycle with his feet, with his hands always high over his head and his red Superman cape flapping in the wind behind him . . .

“You Must Really Want It” by Marie Sabatino

I woke up feeling cold this morning and the clouds were fighting their way in between the bedroom blinds that were left open in the middle of the night. I found my body naked and bent and I thought about Nicole duFresne and her star quality blonde hair and blue eyes and perfect teeth and I wondered how her hair and face and body fell onto the concrete ground on Rivington Street after she was shot in the chest by that nineteen-year-old boy . . .


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