Books About Gentrifiction

Last month in San Francisco, a woman at my Green Apple reading asked me what books I'd recommend on the topic of gentrification. We all knew about Evicted, of course, by Matthew Desmond, and I thought straight away of Naima Coster's beautiful first novel, Halsey Street. Here are a few other recommendations on the subject:

1. GENTRIFIER by Marc Lamont Hill, Jason Patch, and John Joe Schlichtman. These three scholars not only give a framework for understanding the various phenomena that we collectively refer to as gentrification, but they also situate themselves in the places they live.

2. THE INVENTION OF BROWNSTONE BROOKLYN by Suleiman Osman. This book provides history on the development of Brooklyn, debunks the idea that gentrification started in New York City, and describes the appeal of certain neighborhoods to a swath of middle-class Americans on a quest for authenticity.

3. There Goes the Neighborhood, a podcast by WNYC, has two seasons: the first on Brooklyn, specifically East New York, and the second on L.A. The podcast features the stories of residents, business owners, folks in real estate and government. It unpacks everything from why the coffee shop has become an emblem of gentrification to potential solutions to the pricing out and displacement of long-time residents.