BookBrowse Reviews Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

by Sidik Fofana

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana X
Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2022, 224 pages

    Aug 2023, 224 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
Buy This Book

About this Book



Sidik Fofana's debut novel-in-stories orbits a Harlem apartment complex and spins bittersweet tales of ambition and disappointment in a range of vibrant voices.

"Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?" These last lines of a short introduction in verse set up Sidik Fofana's aim: to depict the shifting fortunes of the residents of Banneker Terrace in Harlem. The building has new owners who plan to renovate and raise the rates. For many of the tenants, it's already a struggle to make rent each month, even if they hold down two or more jobs. So, while gentrification might be considered a positive thing in a neighborhood for some, it's bad news for the protagonists of these linked short stories.

Illegal hustling starts to look like a tempting option — if not a necessity. In "The Rent Manual" (which has second-person narration, in contrast to the first-person perspective of the other seven stories), Mimi is a waitress at a soul food restaurant and runs an informal home hairdressing ...

Subscribers Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Beyond the Book:
  Rent Control in New York City


Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, try these:

  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen jacket

    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen

    by Isaac Blum

    Published 2023

    About this book

    The Chosen meets Adam Silvera in this irreverent and timely story of worlds colliding in friendship, betrayal, and hatred.

  • Nightcrawling jacket


    by Leila Mottley

    Published 2023

    About this book

    A dazzling novel about a young black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system - the debut of a blazingly original voice that "bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole" (Tommy Orange, bestselling author of There There).

We have 7 read-alikes for Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes

BookBrowse Sale!

Join BookBrowse and discover exceptional books for just $3/mth!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Wifedom
    by Anna Funder
    When life became overwhelming for writer, wife, and mother Anna Funder in the summer of 2017, she ...
  • Book Jacket: The Fraud
    The Fraud
    by Zadie Smith
    In a recent article for The New Yorker, Zadie Smith joked that she moved away from London, her ...
  • Book Jacket: Wasteland
    by Oliver Franklin-Wallis
    Globally, we generate more than 2 billion tons of household waste every year. That annual total ...
  • Book Jacket: Disobedient
    by Elizabeth Fremantle
    Born in Rome in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi led a successful career as an artist throughout the ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Fair Rosaline
by Natasha Solomons
A subversive, powerful untelling of Romeo and Juliet by New York Times bestselling author Natasha Solomons.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The September House
    by Carissa Orlando

    A dream home becomes a haunted nightmare in this compulsively readable, twisty, and layered debut novel.

  • Book Jacket

    The Wren, the Wren
    by Anne Enright

    An incandescent novel about the inheritance of trauma, wonder, and love across three generations of women.

Win This Book
Win Moscow X

25 Copies to Give Away!

A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?



Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.