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Staten Island Noir

Edited by:

New York’s fifth borough finally enters the Noir Series arena, completing the series tour of the world’s noirest city.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Patricia Smith won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for her short story, “When They Are Done with Us,” included in the anthology. This story was also selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013, edited by Otto Penzler and Lisa Scottoline!

“Staten Island, the last of New York City’s five boroughs to enter Akashic’s noir series, serves as the setting for this exceptionally strong anthology.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Smith’s introduction is a revelation. She knows the Island I have in my head. It was like finding a literary sibling, separated since birth.”
Washington Independent

“Staten Island is the forgotten borough, lacking a subway system, left out of Jay-Z’s songs, known for organized crime, bad accents, fake tans, and garbage—which makes it a rich setting for Akashic’s noir series . . . In a thrilling tilt-a-whirl of crime and drama, editor Patricia Smith has carefully chosen writers concerned with the true nature of the small suburban borough.”
Electric Literature’s “The Outlet”

“It’s not enough for noir to be dark. It’s got to be bad-ass. Its words, its decaying and horrible beauty have got to hit you like a spiked heel dragged from your guts to your gullet. It’s got to twist the hot knife of passion in that soft space right below your belly while pumping bullets into your heart. It’s got to make you bleed. Akashic Books’ latest in their noir series, Staten Island Noir features some dusky and drop-dead gorgeous gems (emphasis on the dead) that do just that.”
Grub Street Daily

“Each story in this enjoyable collection has its own charms, if the words ‘enjoyable’ or ‘charms’ can be used with these dark tales, and each can stand-alone. However, if, like me, you had always looked at Staten Island as banal and benign, by the book’s end your ideas will be forever changed.”


Read “One Wolf, Three Sheep,” Eddie Joyce’s contribution to Akashic’s Mondays Are Murder series.

Read “A User’s Guide to Keeping Your Kills Fresh” by Ted Anthony, and “Sister-in-Law” by Louisa Ermelino, featured as part of Akashic’s celebration of Short Story Month 2013.

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Bill Loehfelm, S.J. Rozan, Ted Anthony, Todd Craig, Ashley Dawson, Bruce DeSilva, Louisa Ermelino, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Michael Largo, Michael Penncavage, Linda Nieves-Powell, Eddie Joyce, Shay Youngblood, and Patricia Smith.

From the introduction by Patricia Smith:

“There’s crime here. Good crime. Mystery. Dark, scary stuff. Big crime. The noir kind, without a good guy in sight. Just scan the headlines: Skeleton in Staten Island Basement Points to Unsolved Murder; Staten Island Man Commits Murder after Victim Had Spit in Wife’s Face. Then there’s the haunted Kreischer mansion on Arthur Kill Road. Mob Wives, for Chrissakes, with all that squalling, hair-pulling, and Botox. A recent spate of hate crimes against blacks, Mexicans, Muslims. Mist-shrouded abandoned psychiatric hospitals. Guys named Eddie. Underground caverns. Willowbrook. The ghostly ship graveyard. The legend of Cropsey. That rolling landfill and all those secrets buried beneath it. Even the one movie that was named after the borough got it exactly right. Here’s the synopsis: A Staten Island mob boss Parmie is robbed by septic tank cleaner Sully who has a pal Jasper, a deaf deli employee moonlighting as a corpse chopper . . . That’s a damned sunshiny day on the island.

I’m not sure why Staten Island is the borough bringing up the rear in Akashic Books’ Noir Series, but here we are, as rotten, vengeful, unforgiving, and badass as any one of its quartet of brothers.”

Table of Contents


Part I: Family Affair
“Snake Hill” by Bill Loehfelm (Eltingville)
“Sister-in-Law” by Louisa Ermelino (Great Kills)
“When They Are Done with Us” by Patricia Smith (Port Richmond)
“A User’s Guide to Keeping Your Kills Fresh” by Ted Anthony (Fresh Kills)
“Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” by Shay Youngblood (South Beach)

Part II: Fight or Flight
“Mistakes” by Michael Penncavage (The Ferry)
“Abating a Nuisance” by Bruce DeSilva (Tompkinsville)
“Paying the Tab” by Michael Largo (Four Corners)
“Assistant Professor Lodge” by Binnie Kirshenbaum (Grymes Hill)

Part III: Borough of Broken Dreams
“. . . spy verse spy . . .” by Todd Craig (Park Hill)
“Before It Hardens” by Eddie Joyce (Annadale)
“The Fly-Ass Puerto Girl from the Stapleton Projects” by Linda Nieves-Powell (Stapleton)
“Teenage Wasteland” by Ashley Dawson (Tottenville)
“Lighthouse” by S.J. Rozan (St. George)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 11/6/12
  • IBSN: 9781617751295
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751462


PATRICIA SMITH is the author of six acclaimed poetry volumes, including Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah was published by Coffee House Press in the spring of 2012. Her work has been published in Poetry, the Paris Review, Tin House, TriQuarterly, and other literary journals and anthologies, including the 2011 editions of both Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. In addition to her poetic works, Smith is also the author of Africans in America, a companion volume to the groundbreaking PBS documentary, and of the children’s book Janna and the Kings, which won Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Award. She is also the editor of Staten Island Noir. She is currently a professor at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, and serves on the faculties of Cave Canem and the MFA programs at Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine and Sierra Nevada College.

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