Skip to content
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL DOMESTIC ORDERS $35+
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL US ORDERS $35+

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

Availability:
in stock, ready to be shipped
Save 0% Save 0%
Original price $17.00
Original price $17.00 - Original price $17.00
Original price $17.00
Current price $16.99
$16.99 - $16.99
Current price $16.99
Finalist for the Gotham Book Prize
Longlisted for the Story Prize

Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Chicago Review of Books, LitHub, and Electric Lit

“A standout achievement...American speech is an underused commodity in contemporary fiction and it’s a joy to find such a vital example of it here.” —The Wall Street Journal

From a superb new literary talent, a rich, lyrical collection of stories about a tight-knit cast of characters grappling with their own personal challenges while the forces of gentrification threaten to upend life as they know it.


At Banneker Terrace, everybody knows everybody, or at least knows of them. Longtime tenants’ lives are entangled together in the ups and downs of the day-to-day, for better or for worse. The neighbors in the unit next door are friends or family, childhood rivals or enterprising business partners. In other words, Harlem is home. But the rent is due, and the clock of gentrification—never far from anyone’s mind—is ticking louder now than ever.

In eight interconnected stories, Sidik Fofana conjures a residential community under pressure. There is Swan, in apartment 6B, whose excitement about his friend’s release from prison jeopardizes the life he’s been trying to lead. Mimi, in apartment 14D, hustles to raise the child she had with Swan, waitressing at Roscoe’s and doing hair on the side. And Quanneisha B. Miles, in apartment 21J, is a former gymnast with a good education who wishes she could leave Banneker for good, but can’t seem to escape the building’s gravitational pull. We root for the tight-knit cast of characters as they weave in and out of one another’s narratives, working to escape their pasts and blaze new paths forward for themselves and the people they love. All the while we brace, as they do, for the challenges of a rapidly shifting future.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs brilliantly captures the joy and pain of the human experience in this “singular accomplishment from a writer to watch” (Library Journal, starred review).

ISBN-13: 9781982145828

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: 08-01-2023

Pages: 224

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.80(d)

Sidik Fofana earned an MFA from New York University. Three of his stories appeared in the Sewanee Review. He lives with his wife and son in New York City where he is a public school teacher.

Read an Excerpt

1. Rent Manual The Rent Manual