Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America

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Little, Brown, Jan 26, 2011 - History - 296 pages
7 Reviews
"No geographic or racial qualification guarantees a writer her subject....Only interest, knowledge, and love will do that--all of which this book displays in abundance." (Zadie Smith, Harper's)

A finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

For a century Harlem has been celebrated as the capital of black America, a thriving center of cultural achievement and political action. At a crucial moment in Harlem's history, as gentrification encroaches, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts untangles the myth and meaning of Harlem's legacy. Examining the epic Harlem of official history and the personal Harlem that begins at her front door, Rhodes-Pitts introduces us to a wide variety of characters, past and present. At the heart of their stories, and her own, is the hope carried over many generations, hope that Harlem would be the ground from which blacks fully entered America's democracy.

Rhodes-Pitts is a brilliant new voice who, like other significant chroniclers of places-Joan Didion on California, or Jamaica Kincaid on Antigua-captures the very essence of her subject.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pinkcrayon99 - LibraryThing

Seeing that this book was one of those that I was "saving" in my TBR pile, I wanted it to be extraordinary and worth the wait. I was disappointed. I really wanted this book to ooze with all the Harlem ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xaverie - LibraryThing

Though it took me a while to get through this book I'm glad I did. It's a very personal and richly written history of Harlem, including a lot of very personal insights from the author. She gives the ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts's articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Boston Globe, Transition, and Times Literary Supplement. She has received a Lannan Foundation fellowship and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007. Rhodes-Pitts was born in Texas and educated at Harvard University.

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