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Atlanta Noir

Edited by:

This much-anticipated and long-overdue installment in Akashic’s Noir Series reveals many sides of Atlanta only known to its residents.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

The Georgia Center for the Book has picked Atlanta Noir as one of 2018’s Books All Georgians Should Read!

Kenji Jasper’s “A Moment of Clarity at the Waffle House” has been nominated for a 2018 Edgar Award for Best Short Story!

“The stories in Atlanta Noir are connected, as Jones suggests in her introduction . . . In particular, the ‘rot’ these narratives expose are specifically Atlanta versions of gentrification, the suburbs, traffic, and inequality. At their best, the stories reveal and complicate a post–civil rights, but far from post-racial, Atlanta . . . This collection is noteworthy in terms of its multiple contemporary literary representations of our city, particularly considering the general lack of them otherwise.”
Atlanta Studies

“Atlanta has its share, maybe more than its share, of prosperity. But wealth is no safeguard against peril . . . Creepy as well as dark, grim in outlook . . . Hints of the supernatural may make these tales . . . appealing to lovers of ghost stories.”
Kirkus Reviews

“These stories, most of them by relative unknowns, offer plenty of human interest . . . All the tales have a Southern feel.”
Publishers Weekly

“Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta, returns to the South via Akashic’s ever-growing city anthology series. The collection features stories from an impressive roster of talent including Jim Grimsley, Sheri Joseph, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms and David James Poissant. The 14 selections each take place in different Atlanta neighborhoods.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Now comes Atlanta Noir, an anthology that masterfully blends a chorus of voices, both familiar and new, from every corner of Atlanta . . . The magic of Atlanta Noir is readily apparent, starting with the introduction Jones pens. It doesn’t rest solely upon the breadth of writers but on how their words, stories and references are so Atlanta—so very particular, so very familiar and so very readily, for those who know the city, nostalgic. And for those who don’t? The sense of place it captures inspires a desire to get to know Atlanta and its stories.”

“Akashic Books has published more than 50 volumes of its “Noir” anthologies, each set in a different city, from Manhattan to Manila. This month welcomes the release of Atlanta Noir, a collection of 14 short stories by mostly Southern writers, including locals Jim Grimsley and John Holman. Another notable contributor: the book’s editor, award-winning novelist and Spelman alum Tayari Jones. She calls Atlanta—with its gentility, urban grit, and history that ranges from stirring to grotesque—’the noirest town in the nation.'”
Atlanta Magazine

“Atlanta is one of America’s most dynamic and fastest growing cities, with an increasingly diverse population. This volume honors the city’s transformation—albeit in a chilling manner—with a highly talented crew of 14 respected contributors who know the city inside and out, from its souls to its heart . . . Once again, Akashic shows us why it is king of noir and especially anthologies with such high-quality writers and storytellers. We’ve waited long for this beautiful collection of all things dark and murderous, but the wait was well worth it. Atlanta Noir could well turn out to be Akashic’s best work to date.”
New York Journal of Books

“The book holds 14 chilling tales of urban grit and moral ambiguity, each one written by an author with an intimate knowledge of the city and edited by Jones, whose own writing appears in the collection . . . The range of stories provided in the collection provides an almost perfect snapshot of the city in which we live, written by people who know it best.”
Creative Loafing


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. This much-anticipated and long-overdue installment in Akashic’s Noir Series reveals many sides of Atlanta known only to its residents.

Brand-new stories by: Tananarive Due, Kenji Jasper, Tayari Jones, Dallas Hudgens, Jim Grimsley, Brandon Massey, Jennifer Harlow, Sheri Joseph, Alesia Parker, Gillian Royes, Anthony Grooms, John Holman, Daniel Black, and David James Poissant.

From the introduction by Tayari Jones:

Atlanta itself is a crime scene. After all, Georgia was founded as a de facto penal colony and in 1864, Sherman burned the city to the ground. We might argue about whether the arson was the crime or the response to the crime, but this is indisputable: Atlanta is a city sewn from the ashes and everything that grows here is at once fertilized and corrupted by the past . . .

These stories do not necessarily conform to the traditional expectations of noir . . . However, they all share the quality of exposing the rot underneath the scent of magnolia and pine. Noir, in my opinion, is more a question of tone than content. The moral universe of the story is as significant as the physical space. Noir is a realm where the good guys seldom win; perhaps they hardly exist at all. Few bad deeds go unrewarded, and good intentions are not the road to hell, but are hell itself . . . Welcome to Atlanta Noir. Come sit on the veranda, or the terrace of a high-rise condo. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and fortify it with a slug of bourbon. Put your feet up. Enjoy these stories, and watch your back.

Atlanta Noir included in Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Summer Reads roundup for 2017.

Atlanta Noir included as an Atlanta Magazine Top Atlanta Event pick for August.

Read On Second Thought‘s interview with Atlanta Noir‘s editor Tayari Jones.

Listen to an interview with Atlanta Noir contributors Daniel Black and Jennifer Harlow on City Lights with Lois Reitzes.

Table of Contents


Part I: The Devil Went Down to Georgia
“Snowbound” by Tananarive Due (Buckhead)
“Terceira” by Dallas Hudgens (College Park)
“The Prisoner” by Brandon Massey (Grant Park)
“Kill Joy” by Sheri Joseph (East Atlanta)
“One-Eyed Woman” by Gillian Royes (Virginia-Highland)

Part II: Kin Folks & Skin Folks
“Selah” by Anthony Grooms (Inman Park)
“Caramel” by Tayari Jones (Cascade Heights)
“Comet” by David James Poissant (Stone Mountain)
“Come Ye, Disconsolate” by Daniel Black (Mechanicsville)

Part III: Nose Wide Open
“The Bubble” by Jennifer Harlow (Peachtree City)
“A Moment of Clarity at the Waffle House” by Kenji Jasper (Vinings)
“Four in the Morning in the New Place” by Jim Grimsley (Little Five Points)
“Ma’am” by Alesia Parker (Midtown)
“The Fuck Out” by John Holman (East Lake Terrace)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 8/1/17
  • IBSN: 9781617755378
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755590


TAYARI JONES was born and raised in southwest Atlanta. A graduate of Spelman College, she is the author of three novels, including Silver Sparrow, an NEA Big Read selection. She is on the MFA faculty at Rutgers-Newark University. She is the editor of Atlanta Noir.

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