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Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in Americaby Tiny Gray Garcia
Synopses & Reviews
Eleven-year-old Lisa becomes her mother's primary support when they face the prospect of homelessness. As Dee, a single mother, struggles with the demons of her own childhood of neglect and abuse, Lisa has to quickly assume the role of an adult in an attempt to keep some stability in their lives. "Dee and Tiny" ultimately become underground celebrities in San Francisco, squatting in storefronts and performing the "art of homelessness." Their story, filled with black humor and incisive analysis, illuminates the roots of poverty, the criminalization of poor families, and their struggle for survival.
"We are not the same after reading this hellish tale of a young girl's struggle to survive." Yannick Murphy, author of Here They Come
"She opens up an important window onto a reality looked upon by many but truly seen by few." Piri Thomas, author of Down These Mean Streets
"If your heart is unmoved when you finish this memoir, then it's made of stone." Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
"Lays bare the devastating effects of inheriting a life of poverty, as well the real redemption and power in finding your voice." Michelle Tea, author of Rose of No Man's Land and Valencia
Book News Annotation:
"Tiny," aka Lisa Gray-Garcia (the founder of POOR Magazine), presents her family memoir growing poor in the United States, where being poor is a criminal act. She describes the experiences of three generations of poor women: her grandmother, "an Irish immigrant, teenage mother and battered woman in pre-New Deal patriarchal America;" her mother, "a mixed-race child surrendered to foster care, a survivor of abuse who tried for many years to escape her childhood torture until one day the struggle became too great"; and herself, who experience homelessness and gradually became a radically politicized anti-poverty activist. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A daughter's struggle to keep her family alive through poverty, homelessness, and incarceration.
About the Author
Lisa Gray-Garcia became homeless at the age of 11. She is the founder of Poor Magazine, a literary and visual arts magazine, and Poor News Network (PNN), a monthly radio show focusing on issues of poverty and racism. Her journalism has been featured in Common Dreams, the SF Chronicle, as well as many other local and national media outlets.
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