All of the stories in Above Sugar Hill take place in New York between 145th and 181st Street, roads no one from outside the neighbourhood is expected to visit — a Puerto Rican Independentista fends off the FBI, a young girl spots Marilyn Monroe more than ten years after Monroe’s suicide, an opera-singing housing activist goes missing and presumed to have been murdered.
“Where I come from is tiny,” observes the narrator of one of the stories. “Women run the short block screaming when their purses get snatched. Blam blams and the fire of flying heat cut the night.”
A literary map of Upper Manhattan, and a chronicle of the decades when Harlem and Washington Heights lay forgotten, Above Sugar Hill has just been released by site-specific publisher Influx Press.
“Mannheim’s restive tales of her desiccated stretch of New York provoke and abide like a slap.“
- Eimear McBride
“Linda Mannheim’s smouldering vignettes of New York life are both achingly sad and beautifully wrought. These are stories to re-read and savour.”
“The opening story, built out of childhood fears and fascinations, is especially haunting.”
- Alison Moore