by Frank Lentricchia
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 26 Jan 2022
Guernica Editions, Guernica World Editions
Two men, no longer young, and friends from childhood, fly to NYC—each with a secret purpose unknown to the other. They arrive just as COVID-19 explodes across the city’s 5 boroughs. One of the men (white) has come to Manhattan to confront a theater producer who has made a coercive offer to his wife. The other man (black, former All-American football star) plans to confront and take revenge on his white girlfriend from college days—who left him for a white man. As they pursue their goals they are caught up in the hunt for America’s most famous criminal. The black man, seeking revenge, makes a surprising turn. The white man, who has taken his confrontation with the theater producer to criminal length, may never leave Manhattan to return to his family. Manhattan Meltdown introduces a series of inter-connected characters who, ever as their lives are impacted by lethal disease, must continue to struggle with more conventional personal crises: uterine cancer, imperiled romantic relationships, and the deteriorations of advancing old age.