Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond has published a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America. Labyrinth Books and Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP) are proud to invite you to a presentation and discussion with the celebrated author of Evicted. To join Matthew Desmond for more conversation at an intimate gathering after the event, please click here. This is a fundraiser in support of the work of HIP.
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge and of their landlords. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today.
Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
“Thank you, Matthew Desmond…Thank you for proving that the struggle to keep a roof over one’s head is a cause, not just a characteristic of poverty… Evicted is an extraordinary feat of reporting and ethnography. Desmond has made it impossible to ever again consider poverty in America without tackling the role of housing—and without grappling with Evicted.” —Washington Post
Matthew Desmond is Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. He is the author of On the Fireline, co-author of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.
A percentage of the proceeds from book-sales at the event will go to Housing Initiatives of Princeton. HIP is a non-profit organization that envisions the Princeton area as a diverse community where families of all income levels can thrive with secure housing, decent employment, and a good education. HIP helps low-income working families in and around Princeton avoid homelessness and find security by offering transitional housing and temporary rental assistance. Coupling transitional housing with supportive services, HIP also provides temporary rental assistance to enable low-income families to retain existing housing or acquire affordable housing.