Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Tag: New York City

“Last Smoke” by Andrew Cotto

Chris rattled his cigarette pack and placed it on the bar next to his Droid. He considered the cost of another cold beer and the cost of a fresh pack of smokes. He remembered pulling loosies out of a candy jar for a quarter each. Now it was hard to find loosies anywhere, and a pack of smokes in Brooklyn cost thirteen bucks. Even happy hour drinks at this old-school joint were expensive . . .

Spotlight on the NYU Creative Writing Program

On Friday, February 13, the NYU Creative Writing Program will feature Akashic authors Nelson George (The Lost Treasures of R&B), Bernice L. McFadden (Loving Donovan), and Arthur Nersesian (The Fuck-Up) as part of their Reading Series. Today, Akashic is thrilled to spotlight the NYU Creative Writing program.

“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 . . .

“On the Way to the Clinic” by Randolph Splitter

On the platform between the subway tracks, a young woman was playing the violin. A few dollar bills and coins were scattered over the inside of her case. She played semiclassical versions of pop tunes that Maria couldn’t quite recognize. The music was nice, and the young woman had a sweet, pleasant face, but as soon as she got onto the crowded subway car Maria knew that she had made a mistake. It was a simple procedure, they had said, but not that simple . . .


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