Queenie: Godmother of Harlem


A historical graphic novel inspired by the life of Harlem’s legendary mobster, Stephanie Saint-Clair.


ISBN: 9781419757747 Category:

Aurelie Levy


A historical graphic novel inspired by the life of Harlem’s legendary mobster, Stephanie Saint-ClairQueenie follows the life of Stephanie Saint-Clair—the infamous criminal who made herself a legend in Harlem in the 1930s. Born on a plantation in the French colony of Martinique, Saint-Clair left the island in 1912 and headed for the United States, eager to make a new life for herself. In New York she found success, rising up through poverty and battling extreme racism to become the ruthless queen of Harlem’s mafia and a fierce defender of the Black community. A racketeer and a bootlegger, Saint-Clair dedicated her wealth and compassion to the struggling masses of Harlem, giving loans and paying debts to those around her. But with Prohibition ending, and under threat by Italian mobsters seeking to take control of her operation, she launched a merciless war to save her territory and her skin. In an America still swollen by depression and segregation, Saint-Clair understood that her image was a tool she could use to establish her power and wield as a weapon against her opponents. Author Aurelie Levy and illustrator Elizabeth Colomba’s meticulous details—in both story and art—bring Saint-Clair’s story to life in a tense narrative, against a sometimes bloody backdrop of jazz and voodoo. The story tackles the themes of colonization, corruption, police violence, and racial identity, but above all, Queenie celebrates the genius of a woman forgotten by history.

Additional information

Weight 614 g
Dimensions 18.6 x 22.3 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 17 January 2023
Number of pages 160
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18.6 x 22.3 cm
Weight 614 g


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Aurelie Levy is a French writer and director. Born and raised in Paris, she went on to study Japanese history and film at the prestigious ICU in Tokyo. She then pursued her film and history education at UCLA in Los Angeles, where she learned the ropes of the film industry and was projected into the motley universe of actor and activist. In 2007 she directed her first documentary and subsequently collaborated with Anthony Bourdain on two episodes of his infamous program No Reservations. For the past three years, Levy has been following a group of young photographers around the world for the documentary series Off the Grid. She is based in Paris. Elizabeth Colomba is an artist of Martinique descent, born and raised in France, now living in New York City. After receiving her degree in applied arts in Paris, she continued her studies in Los Angeles, where she pursued painting while working on feature films. Depicting stories featuring Black characters, Colomba analyzes the construction of identity and the tangled relationships between past, present, and future in the Black collective identity.