When I moved to Philly, I told Amy about these books because people where I worked read them often. She, having never lived in a city and thus having never been exposed, didn’t believe me and told me I was stupid or something like that… this was right after our break-up and she saw me as nothing other than a piece of dog shit on the bottom of a shoe regardless of anything I said or did. We eventually stopped speaking. Anyway, the genre does exist:

The Observer takes the pulse of the genre known as “street lit.”

The genre, with its allegiance to all-or-nothing street politics and a firebrand code of ethics, was initially fostered by a cadre of authors like Ms. Clark who had actually lived the lives they narrated on the page.

I came across a review of the book below. This quote puts the nature of publishing in perspective.

Matthew L. Jockers, Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History (University of Illinois Press).

The author notes that only “2.3 percent of the books published in the U.S. between 1927 and 1946 are still in print” (even that figure sounds high, and may be inflated by the recent efforts of shady print-on-demand “publishers” playing fast and loose with copyright) while the most expansive list of canonical 19th-century British novels would represent well under 1 percent of those published.


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