cover image The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory

The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory

Stacy Wakefield. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-61775-303-9

In Wakefield’s novel, Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1995 is “the other side of the moon,” a desolate wasteland, replete with stray dogs. Sid, an adventure-seeking squatter, decides to take on the challenge of “the new frontier,” becoming fed up with the cliquey and over-capacity squats in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She convinces Lorenzo, a musician and “glue-sniffing badass from Mexico City,” to join her, and they depart for Brooklyn with their army backpacks and boots to squat at an abandoned commercial bakery with a team of other social misfit residents. Wakefield, author of the nonfiction book Not for Rent (also on the topic of squatting), draws on personal experience for this colorful and entertaining depiction. Though the dialogue is occasionally contrived and risks turning characters into caricatures, the sentiment of the nomadic community in New York in the ’90s comes alive through historical references and Sid’s journey as she forges a network of like-minded individuals. (May)