STATEN ISLAND NOIR Completes Akashic Books' Tour of New York's Gritty Underbelly

STATEN ISLAND NOIR Completes Akashic Books' Tour of New York's Gritty Underbelly

The November 2012 launch of STATEN ISLAND NOIR, edited by Patricia Smith, completes Akashic Books' tour of the world's noirest city.

In the summer of 2004, when Akashic Books published BROOKLYN NOIR, edited by Tim McLoughlin, we never expected it to launch a series. What we had was an editor who was Brooklyn to the bone, born and raised and with generations behind him, visitor to all of the borough's wildly unique neighborhoods and utterly indifferent to the rarified culture of Manhattan's literary elite. Tim's concept was to identify local authors who knew Brooklyn's neighborhoods even better than he did, to ask them to write original stories, and as its editor to celebrate his beloved and diverse home.

As it turned out, this was the perfect model for a series, and we used it to identify editors who hold their boroughs as close to their heart as Tim holds Brooklyn. Initially, we hoped to travel through all of New York City--to Manhattan with Lawrence Block, to the Bronx with S.J. Rozan, to Queens with Robert Knightly--before returning our attention elsewhere. But we got distracted. We went to Los Angeles and San Francisco and Chicago, we gave London and Dublin and Mumbai a try, and now we have volumes offering sinister literary tours to over 60 national and international cities.

It wasn't until Patricia Smith was introuduced to us (by BRONX NOIR editor and frequent series contributor S.J. Rozan) that we found Staten Island's muse. The long-awaited inclusion of Staten Island Noir gives the Akashic Noir Series a sense of completion. Together, these five volumes encapsulate the purpose of the series: to discover undiscovered voices, and to reflect the diversity of our communities. As each future volume furthers the Series' goals, we can't help but feel that New York City Noir, reflecting the world's most diverse city, reflects the diversity of the world.

We regret that the book's launch happened to coincide with the destruction levied on Staten Island by the recent storm, and remain amazed at the strength and poise of its residents. We hope Staten Island Noir, a fiction, to be sure, honors the borough's residents with the Tim McLoughlin model in mind--the volume is a celebration of home.

- The Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren Street) is hosting a rescheduled book launch (postponed by Hurricane Sandy) for Staten Island Noir on Weds, Dec 5, at 6:30pm.

- New York City Noir: The Five Borough Edition. This holiday, we've compiled all 87 stories from the five New York Noir Series volumes (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island) in an elegant cloth-bound hardcover edition--limited to 99 individually numbered copies, each one autographed on a special bound limitation page by all five Noir Series editors.

- The Mystery Writers of America announced that The 2013 Ellery Queen Award will be given to Johnny Temple, founder and editor of Akashic Books. The Ellery Queen award is given to editors or publishers who have distinguished themselves by their generous and wide-ranging support of the genre.