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21
Jun

Rich Country/Poor Citizens: Authors Matthew Desmond and Andre Dubus III on American poverty

Time & Date

Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 6:30 pm

Both in-person and virtual tickets are available for this event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event Location

WBUR CitySpace890 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215Open in Google Maps

Ticket Price

$5.00-25.00

 

The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Pulitzer Prize-winning sociologist Matthew Desmond (author of "Evicted") offers a compelling argument in his new book "Poverty, by America" on how affluent Americans, knowingly and unknowingly, keep poor people poor. New York Times best-selling author Andre Dubus III’s newest novel "Such Kindness" tells the story of one man’s descent into poverty by forces beyond his control.

Join Here & Now co-host Robin Young for a conversation with Desmond and Dubus III. Both of their books offer compassionate portrayals of what it is like to experience poverty – in essence, fictional and non-fictional mirror images of the same topic.

Copies of the books will be available for purchase from our bookstore partner Brookline Booksmith. The authors will sign following the conversation.

CitySpace Tickets
Premiere: $25.00 [SOLD OUT]
General: $15.00
Student: $5.00

Virtual Tickets
$5.00 (only one ticket needed per household)

Ways To Save

  • A free in-person ticket can be requested (pending availability) for anyone whom price is a barrier by emailing us at events@wbur.org.
  • WBUR Sustainers save $5.00 on in-person and virtual tickets to this event.
  • WBUR Members save $5.00 on in-person tickets to this event.

To apply donor discounts to your ticket purchase online, you’ll need to enter a promo code. You can get your code by emailing membership@wbur.org.

Registrants may be contacted by CitySpace about this or future events.

About "Poverty, By America"
The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in every eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages?

In this landmark book, acclaimed sociologist Matthew Desmond draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Those of us who are financially secure exploit the poor, driving down their wages while forcing them to overpay for housing and access to cash and credit. We prioritize the subsidization of our wealth over the alleviation of poverty, designing a welfare state that gives the most to those who need the least. And we stockpile opportunity in exclusive communities, creating zones of concentrated riches alongside those of concentrated despair. Some lives are made small so that others may grow.

Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.

About "Such Kindness"
A working-class white man takes a terrible fall.

Tom Lowe’s identity and his pride are invested in the work he does with his back and his hands. He designed and built his family’s dream home, working extra hours to pay off the adjustable rate mortgage he took on the property, convinced he is making every sacrifice for the happiness of his wife and son. Until, in a moment of fatigued inattention, shingling a roof in too-bright sunlight, he falls.

In constant pain, addicted to painkillers at the cost of his relationships with his wife and son, Tom slowly comes to realize that he can never work again. If he is not a working man, who is he? He is not, he believes, the kind of person who lives in subsidized housing, though that is where he has ended up. He is not the kind of person who hatches a scheme to commit convenience-check fraud, together with neighbors he considers lowlifes, until he finds himself stealing his banker’s trash.Who is Tom Lowe, and who will he become? Can he find a way to reunite hands and heart, mind and spirit, to be once again a giver and not just a taker, to forge a self-acceptance deeper than pride?

Andre Dubus III’s soulful cast includes Trina, the struggling mom next door who sells her own plasma to get by; Dawn, the tough-talking owner of the local hairdressing salon; Jamie, a well-meaning pothead college student ready to stick it to “the man”; and a mix of strangers and neighbors who will never know the role they played in changing a life. To one man’s painful moral journey, Dubus brings compassion with an edge of dark absurdity, forging a novel as absorbing as it is profound.

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