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Madison Smartt Bell’s debut novel: a story of drifters, outcasts, junkies, and dealers surviving in the heart of 1980s New York City
Over one busy weekend, small-time heroin dealer Johnny B. Goode and his alliance of fellow pushers work their trade amidst students, businessmen, and assorted sewer rats while avoiding the law. Narrated from the separate perspectives of each member of the gang, The Washington Square Ensemble follows the twisted paths that have led the seven men through the gritty New York underworld and towards a fragile alliance at Washington Square.
With humor, compassion, and an uncanny ear for voices of the streets, Madison Smartt Bell delivers a stunning indictment—and occasional celebration—of a blighted New York landscape.

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