"Few writers can inhabit multiple characters with equal intensity and vivacity, and most who can are, of course, playwrights or screenwriters...Sidik Fofana’s debut collection reveals him to have this rare gift."--Harpers
“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
“Fofana’s eight linked stories overflow with raw humanity… A masterful work, worthy of relishing in a single sitting.”—Southern Review of Books
“Fofana’s debut is impressive — his characters exude life and the different voices stay with the reader long after the book has been shelved.”--The Boston Globe
“Stellar… The characters come alive on the page, and Fofana has such a unique, dynamic voice. It’s a lyrical and engrossing collection.”—The Chicago Review of Books
“Beautifully intertwined short stories...This is an extraordinary book.”—Good Morning America
“Outstanding… Stories From the Tenants Downstairs masterfully paints a portrait of the people most impacted by gentrification.”–The New York Times Book Review
“It’s impossible not to get sucked into this debut effort.”–Essence
“Fofana deftly steers away from stereotypes and into the psychological interior of each character's life. And he does this so powerfully through voice. Each story in the collection is a lesson in how language defines character — and, therefore, reality.”–The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Fofana acts as both storyteller and anthropologist, brilliantly capturing the scrapes, scents, and spirit of this gentrifying neighborhood… Stories from the Tenants Downstairs aches with powerlessness against tides of gentrification and poverty. At the same time, its boisterous cast of characters seems to embody a new power — the power in telling one’s own story.”—Chapter 16
“The portraits are conveyed in tight-woven, propulsive, rhythmically rich vernacular… A singular accomplishment from a writer to watch.”–Library Journal (starred review)
“Fofana shows an ear for pacing and for evocative, frequently musical language... A striking voice, and his protagonists will linger in readers' imaginations."–Shelf Awareness
"The residents of a low-income high-rise apartment building in Harlem form the beating heart of Fofana’s dynamic debut collection... These engrossing and gritty stories of tenuous living in a gentrifying America enchant."
–Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
“Captivating... vividly and desperately authentic.”
–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Spectacular.” —Booklist (starred review)
"A collection that will make your jaw drop several times... 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... This magnificent collection is not only a great joy to read, it’s evocative, essential art.”
–Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math and The Residue Years
"[Fofana] 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... The voices of the residents of Banneker Terrace linger and echo long after the last page."
–Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
"What [Sidik Fofana] does with these stories, and with our beautiful, bottomless American language, is nothing short of revelatory. Buy this book, and prepare to be blasted by the brilliance inside."
–Ben Fountain, author of Beautiful Country Burn Again
“Mr. Fofana has an acute ear and a perfect eye, and he doesn’t rush. This is important American art.”
–Lorrie Moore, author of Bark