Posts Tagged: poverty

Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in Rumpus Saturday Fiction, Sherman Alexie’s shares three short stories—”Fixed Income,” “Honor Society,” and “Valediction”—that all offer his trademark whimsy and insight into the human condition. Three different teenagers struggle with poverty, endemic racism, and social exclusion, and must depend upon themselves to make the right choices in difficult moral situations.

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The Rumpus Interview with J.D. Vance

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J.D. Vance talks about his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, the perils of upward mobility, and never forgetting where you come from. ...more

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #55: Donald Ray Pollock

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Donald Ray Pollock has been steadily serving up plates of mild horror since his first book of short stories, Knockemstiff, appeared in 2008. Pollock followed the explosion of Knockemstiff with The Devil All the Time, in 2011, his first novel, which also bordered on the genre of mystery, again with generous servings of darkness.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #8: Dappled Things

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The small town where I have recently landed is ugly and beautiful. Walk down the main street: there are a few old gems like an ancient and glorious Masonic Hall, now home to evangelicals. Several boarded up stores, ugly as can be, and some small town cafes: one for Giants fans, specializing in breakfast, pancakes and pennants all over the joint, one Mexican taqueria, one family pasta palace with red and white checkered table cloths and cheap chianti, and an old-school diner for burgers.

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Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote: Jay Baron Nicorvo

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So my No-Trump Vote is for all the grown kids of single mothers, in the hope that they come to value—before it’s too late—the person who more closely resembles our sacrificing moms than our dodgy deadbeat dads. ...more

Stable Decline

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According to an article by Alison Flood in the Guardian, library use in England has fallen almost 31 percent over the past decade, with one notable exception:

Adults in the least deprived areas of England saw their library usage decline the most over the decade, from 46.3% to 31.4%, while according to the report, library usage in the five most deprived areas of the country ‘remained reasonably stable.

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The Rumpus Interview with Manuel Gonzales

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Manuel Gonzales talks about his new novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack!, transitioning from nonprofit work to teaching, and how to zig when a trope wants you to zag. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more

The Paradox of Growth As Good

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Martin Kirk writes for Aeon on the paradoxical connection between economic growth and eliminating poverty. Kirk illustrates that increasing the size of the economic pie, by spending the world’s finite resources, with no change in distribution to impoverished populations, will not only not eradicate poverty in the near future, but will only accelerate the depletion of the natural world:

Every forest razed, every armament sold, every industrial pollutant created, even the profits from drugs and prostitution, all register as positive for GDP [the gross domestic product].

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Laurie Jean Cannady

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The author of the new memoir Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul talks about growing up impoverished, abused, and in love with words. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Review: 99 Homes

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99 Homes continues Bahrani’s tendency to take on big topics, to cut them into chewable pieces for its audience ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Bill Cosby’s Faux Legacy

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Bill Cosby was never the man, the icon, the protector and illustrator of black culture, the guide, the genius we have created in our minds. ...more

Song of the Day: “Living For The City”

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Stevland Hardaway Morris, aka Stevie Wonder, got his start playing for Motown Records in 1961. Today, he boasts a back catalog of some of the most iconic and original soul music in the world. Though Stevie Wonder started singing more than 50 years ago, the lyrics of “Living For The City” are just as relevant today.

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Writers on Time Spent Down and Out

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George Orwell recounted his experiences with poverty in Down and Out in Paris and London, and Paul Auster his in Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure. 

Rumpus contributor Kaya Genç writes about his own brush with running out of money, and how authors like Orwell and Auster informed his feelings about it, in an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books:

There is pleasure in imagining yourself sleeping among bugs, working 16 hours a day, spending days without eating a piece of bread, not affording a metro ride, and then becoming a writer.

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Straight Bobs and Silk Shells: Performing Respectability

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Previously, we blogged about an essay on students in for-profit schools that happened to coincide with Stephen S. Mills’s Rumpus essay about employees of for-profit schools.

That essay’s author, inequality scholar Tressie McMillan Cottom, has a stunning new essay up on her blog, understated but heart-rending, exploring the motivations people have for spending beyond their means.

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The Other One Percent

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I’m at NYU Dental waiting to get a cavity filled. I’m at NYU Dental because I’m poor, although if I were really poor — I am thinking — I wouldn’t be at a dentist at all. I happen to be reading Michelle Tea’s Without a Net, the first time I have ever read literature about the experience of growing up poor.

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