Posts Tagged: poverty
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.
At the Guardian, Tim Cooke investigates why writers’ experiences with homelessness and destitution fascinates readers:
So what is the attraction of being down and out? For some, the prospect of real, hard-hitting subject matter has proved irresistible, while for others the route to the streets has been paved with anguish.
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].
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....more
Writers expecting to supplement their art by teaching college level courses might need to find a new day job. A quarter of all part-time college faculty receive some sort of public assistance, reports Slate. Those numbers include Medicaid and nutrition assistance (better known as food stamps)....more
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.
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....more
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....more