Cover image for Gotham diaries
Gotham diaries
Lee, Tonya Lewis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [2004]

Physical Description:
275 ; 25 cm
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A hilarious first novel that provides a peek into the world of the super-rich, super-connected African Americans in Manhattan.

Lauren is trying to be an independent woman, starting her own documentary film company, but it's difficult when you're married to Ed Thomas, one of the wealthiest African-American businessmen in the country--and particularly when he seems to have a roving eye. Manny is an up-and-coming gay real estate agent who arrived in Manhattan from Alabama with only the clothes on his back. He's made his way to the top of his profession--yet he still wants more. Tandy is one of the "ladies who lunch"--but she's desperate to reinvent herself and find a new source of cash flow.

As we follow these three and other characters in this compelling first novel, we see the fascinating world of New York City's upper-crust African American society with all their scandals, foibles and skeletons in the closet revealed.

Author Notes

Tonya Lewis Lee, along with her husband, filmmaker Spike Lee, is the author of the successful children's book Please Baby Please, as well as a children's television producer. This is her first adult novel.

Crystal McCrary Anthony is the co-author (with Rita Ewing) of the novel Homecourt Advantage, about the turbulent lives of women married to NBA players.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In this novel about the glitz and glamour of the black upper crust of Manhattan, wealth and status mean everything, and friendship is virtually worthless. Manny Marks is a poor boy from Alabama who has remade himself into the image of the Manhattan elite, complete with a buff, glamorous boyfriend. As a real-estate agent, it's Manny's business to feed into the snobbery that demands top dollar. To keep himself on an upward trajectory, Manny lends himself to unescorted ladies. He is friend and companion to the lovely and lonely young Lauren, a budding documentary maker who, though born into comfortable wealth, is insecure in her marriage to a billionaire businessman. Manny also lends his companionship to Tandy, charity doyenne, widowed a year, facing financial ruin, and desperate to hold onto her fading looks and her social status. Manny is looking to score a deal that will cinch his own fragile perch and is oh so vulnerable when Tandy offers him a part in a shady real-estate scheme. Lee, wife of filmmaker Spike Lee, and Anthony, wife of NBA player and sports commentator Greg Anthony, bring their intimate knowledge of the glittery New York scene to this delicious novel about ruthless social climbing and unscrupulous greed among black socialites. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lauren Thomas, Wharton graduate, size-four beauty and rising director on the Style Channel, wants to be admired as herself, not just as the wife of Ed Thomas, billionaire baron of New York African-American society. The authors know whereof they speak, being married, respectively, to filmmaker Spike Lee and former Knicks player and ESPN commentator Greg Anthony. If Stephen Carter was the Henry James of old black money with The Emperor of Ocean Park, the Lee/Anthony team is the Edith Wharton of new black money. As Lauren rises in selfhood, her best friends tumble: Manny Marks, the gay realtor who grew up dirt-poor, and widow Tandy Brooks, who at age 51 is dethroned as the duchess of philanthropy because her despised husband left her in debt. Vicious, funny, juicy, with lots of antic real estate scenes, the story is driven by a plot in which Manny and Tandy collude to swindle Lauren and Ed. The dual authorship sometimes shows at the seams, with Tandy "cocoa-brown" on one page and "caramel" on another; dialogue drags, and brand names crowd the pages. But the insider authority carries the day. Agent, Suzanne Gluck at William Morris. (July 7) Forecast: Blurbs from E. Lynn Harris and Henry Louis Gates Jr. demonstrate Lee and Anthony's range (and probably range of acquaintances). This should have a strong start out the gate, with plenty of media attention. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved