Harlem is Nowhere

A Journey to the Mecca of Black America

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Published: 4 August 2011
Trade Paperback, A5
148x210mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781847084576
£14.99

Overview

A walker, a reader and a gazer, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is also a skilled talker whose impromptu kerbside exchanges with Harlem's most colourful residents are transmuted into a slippery, silky set of observations on what change and opportunity have wrought in this small corner of a big city, Harlem, with its outsize reputation and even-larger influence. Hers is a beguilingly well-written meditation on the essence of black Harlem, as it teeters on the brink of seeing its poorer residents and their rich histories turfed out by commercial developers intent on providing swish condos for cool-seeking (and mostly white) gentrifiers. In a mix of conversations with scholars and streetcorner men, thoughtful musings on notable antecedents and illustrious Harlemites of the twentieth century, and her own story of migration (from Texas to Harlem via Harvard), Rhodes-Pitts exhibits a sensitivity and subtlety in her writing that is very impressive and very promising. There are echoes of Joan Didion's distinctive rhythms in her prose. This is an exceptionally striking and alluring debut.


About the author

Image of Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is a writer whose work has appeared in Transition, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. She has received awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Originally from Houston, Texas, she graduated in 2000 from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom. Sharifa is writing a trilogy on African-Americans and utopia, of which Harlem is Nowhere is the first volume. Harlen in Nowhere won the Whiting Writer's Award for Non-Fiction in 2012. More about the author





 
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