The Lower East Side Tenement Reclamation Association (Paperback)
This magical realist tale follows the travails of a burnt-out teacher from Queens who spends his time obsessing over the fact that he has been cheated out of living in his Grandma Rose’s Lower East Side apartment and is thus priced out of his “More Recent Ancestral Home” of Manhattan.
In The Lower East Side Tenement Reclamation Association, David Rothman weaves a rich story about real estate, family, and memory. Daniel, the protagonist, is haunted by the memories of his childhood experiences in his grandmother’s apartment, a home that he desperately wants to inhabit. One day he discovers a hidden relic on Rivington Street: a tenement reclamation office run by an eccentric centurion named Hannah. When Daniel inquires about the chances of reclaiming his grandmother’s old tenement, Hannah is not impressed. “Things don’t work like that, you rude, young schlub!” And so begins Daniel’s journey to take back his past and to secure an affordable space for his family in downtown Manhattan. This is a journey full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and an ending that would make even the most thick-skinned New York real estate agent shake.
The Lower East Side Tenement Reclamation Association is the winner of the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Novelette Prize, selected by Meg Ellison.
About the Author
— Phyllis Smith, author of I am Livia
— Noah Lederman, author of A World Erased