Upcoming Event

Virtual Event: Sidik Fofana

presents

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

in conversation with MARCUS BURKE

Date

Aug
17
Wednesday
August 17, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes author and public school teacher SIDIK FOFANA for a discussion of his debut collection Stories from the Tenants Downstairs. He will be joined by Massachusetts native and author MARCUS BURKE.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by ordering a copy of Stories from the Tenants Downstairs on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

Like Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place and Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, Sidik Fofana’s electrifying collection of eight interconnected stories showcases the strengths, struggles, and hopes of one residential community in a powerful storytelling experience.

Each short story follows a tenant in the Banneker Homes, a low-income high rise in Harlem where gentrification weighs on everyone’s mind. 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, who hustles to raise the child she had with Swan, waitressing at Roscoe’s and doing hair on the side. And Quanneisha B. Miles, 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 these characters and more as they weave in and out of each other’s lives, endeavoring to escape from their pasts and blaze new paths forward for themselves and the people they love.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs brilliantly captures the joy and pain of the human experience and heralds the arrival of a uniquely talented writer.

Praise for Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

"In the same way that Gordon Parks captured the brilliance of ordinary Americans, Sidik Fofana elevates the every day through his vivid depictions of Banneker Terrace's captivating residents. Yes, Stories from the Tenants Downstairs is funny, and yes, it is a collection that will make your jaw drop several times, but its true power lies in what it has to say about community, and how this road called life is more bearable when we walk it together. What a gift Fofana’s writing is, especially now." —Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck

Stories from The Tenants Downstairs heralds an indelible, inimitable new literary voice. Sidik’s stories are full of humanity and humor and hope, full of insight into the plight of people too often pushed to the margins of America-the-dream. By the end of this collection, the tenants of Banneker Terrace felt as intimate as my own neighbors, friends, family—a testament to the immense fullness with which Sidik portrayed their lives. This magnificent collection is not only a great joy to read, it’s evocative, essential art.” —Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math

"Sidik Fofana's timely collection is full of tenderness and truth. With it, he has given us a beautiful blueprint for the gentrification story: let it be bold, let it honor the complexities of those who are struggling to hold on. These stories are at once intimate and familiar, and utterly original. I braced myself, I laughed, and I shuddered. The voices of the residents of Banneker Terrace linger and echo long after the last page. A tremendous debut!" —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

Marcus Burke
Marcus Burke

Marcus Burke

Marcus Burke grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. A standout athlete, he attended prep school at Brimmer and May and was recruited to play basketball at Susquehanna University, where he played varsity for all four years. But a knee injury limited his playing time, so he took up fiction writing instead and was accepted at the Iowa Writers Workshop, where he was awarded a grant in honor of James Alan McPherson from the University of Iowa MacArthur Foundation Fund. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Sidik Fofana
Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana

Sidik Fofana is a graduate of NYU’s MFA program and a public school teacher in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in the Sewanee Review and Granta. He was also named a fellow at the Center for Fiction in 2018. Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, his debut short story collection composed of eight narratives about residents of a fictional building in Harlem, will be published by Scribner in August 2022.

Photo Credit: Roque Nonini

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »