Upstate

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Upstate: A Novel
Upstate: A Novel

Upstate tells the story of Antonio and Natasha, Harlem lovers torn apart when Antonio is convicted of a crime within his family. While Antonio serves his sentence, Natasha becomes his hope. Their 10-year romantic saga lives through hopeful letters which change their lives. Upstate was an Essence bestseller and winner of an American Library Association ALEX Award, Audie Award in Literary Fiction (audiobook), and Hurston-Wright Foundation Debut Fiction nomination, and is included on New York Public Library’s List of Best Book for Teens.

Book Clubs & Teachers Guide 

Listen to MacMillan’s Upstate Audiobook, narrated by Chadwick Boseman (’42, Get On Up) & Heather Simms (Red Hook Summer)


Praise

“Wild and beautiful…The story is told using the epistolary form with brilliant skill not seen since The Color Purple.” –Sapphire, national best-selling author of PUSH and The Kid

“Heartbreaking and true. I’d read it again just for the power of the language.” –Dorothy Allison, National Book Award finalist and author of Bastard Out of Carolina
“Intimate, wrenching.” –Achy Obejas, critically-acclaimed author of Ruins
“A literary gem.” –E. Lynn Harris, celebrated American author of What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
“Buckhanon has unleashed brilliance in this debut novel.  Upstate is creative, raw and honest.”- Darnella Ford, acclaimed author of Rising and Crave
“A modern love story that is real and raw in its humor and tragedy.” –Zelda Lockhart, Hurston-Wright Award winner and author of Fifth Born
“Rereading the opening line again once you’ve finished the novel, and you realize that it’s more than a hook. It’s laden with heartbreaking subtext that from dares you to care about Antonio and Natasha – as individuals and as a couple – before you even knew their names.”- Sofia Quintero, award-winning author of Show and Prove
Fluent, candid and colloquial.” Publishers Weekly
“A realistic love story set against a backdrop as gritty as it is memorable.” –People
“Captures the tenacity and faithfulness of young love.” –Entertainment Weekly
“A sensitive portrayal of young lovers that moves beyond gritty urban fiction.” –Essence
“A poetry uniquely its own.” –Elle
Upstate is a coming-of-age tale filled with tragedy, despair and hope.” –Toronto Sun
Upstate starts out strong and never lets go.” –Chicago Tribune
“The street smart language crackles.” –Marie Claire
“Ripe with unforgettable characters and two entrancing voices.” –Audio Publishers Association
“In prose that brilliantly captures the way real kids in Harlem speak, Kalisha Buckhanon reveals not only her characters’ Romeo and Juliet-like ardor, but also their intelligence and ambition.” –Bookpage
“A powerful novel that has capabilities to cross generations.” –Reviewers Bookwatch
“Poignant, compelling and luminous.” –APOO Book Reviews
Upstate breaks hearts and offers hope.” –Uptown
“A story that is well worth the telling.” –Black Issues Book Review
“A rare audiobook find whose voices linger in the mind long after the final chapter.” AudioFile Magazine

“By structuring her story in the epistolary form, [Buckhanon] gives it an intimacy and urgency that the best tales always have.”-London Independent on Sunday
“A raw account of divided love.” –Time Out London

“It’s important, gut-wrenching and possibly the best insight into the mentality of an American teenage culture … a book that’s impossible to forget.” –Daily Record
“A heart-breaking depiction of a situation that faces many young Black people in the USA and Britain today.” –New Nation
“The moving and compelling story gives voice to young black America.” –TNT Magazine
“A truly original debute novel.” –London Standard
“Kalisha Buckhanon triumphs with this unusual literary approach, and the development of the couple’s relationship and characters as they get older is spot on. A great first.” –London Big Issue
“Raw, tender and emotional, every word of this accomplished debut rings beautifully and painfully true.” –Sainsbury’s Magazine
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