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Win A Copy Of "This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search For Home"
"The book is about the failure of our entire system: who gets to thrive and who scrambles to survive."
Got a special one today: This Is All I Got: A New Mother’s Search For Home by Lauren Sandler. Lauren is, full disclosure, my cousin! She’s also an exceptionally talented journalist and the previous author of Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement and One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One.
Here’s the basic rundown:
More than forty-five million Americans attempt to survive under the poverty line, day by day. Nearly 60,000 people sleep in New York City-run shelters every night—forty percent of them children. This Is All I Got makes this issue deeply personal, vividly depicting one woman's hope and despair and her steadfast determination to improve her situation, despite the myriad setbacks she encounters.
Camila is a twenty-two-year-old new mother. She has no family to rely on, no partner, and no home. Despite her intelligence and determination, the odds are firmly stacked against her. Award-winning journalist Lauren Sandler tells the story of a year in Camila's life—from the birth of her son to his first birthday—as she navigates the labyrinth of poverty and homelessness in America. As Camila attempts to secure a college education and a safe place to raise her son, she copes with dashed dreams, failed relationships, and miles of red tape with grit, grace, and resilience.
The book, Lauren said in a Q&A with her publisher, Random House, is not “about homelessness per se, but rather the entire constellation of factors that could leave one remarkable, determined, tenacious young woman homeless. The book is about the failure of our entire system: who gets to thrive and who scrambles to survive. And why it is that women, and in particular, women who have become mothers, have it the hardest. It’s a marker of who we are as a society that the problem only gets worse.”
Random House has generously offered three copies to Singal-Minded readers. Same deal as always: Two will go to free or paid subscribers, and the third will go only to a paid subscriber. The books can be shipped to anyone in the United States.
Just send an email with ‘got’ to email@example.com by noon, Eastern tomorrow, April 29th. And if you’re looking for activities to fill these long, quarantined days, there’s also a virtual book tour taking place over the next month:
April 28, 6 pm Institute for Public Knowledge
In conversation with Jennifer Szalai, NY Times Nonfiction Book Critic. Register here.
April 29, 7:30 pm Brooklyn Public Library x Greenlight Books
In conversation with Nikita Stewart, NY Times social services reporter. Register here.
May 5, 7 pm Harvard Book Store
In conversation with John Williams, NY Times Daily Books Editor. Register here.
May 9, 4 pm Maison Dora Maar
In conversation with writer Nicholas Boggs. Registration link to come.
(A French-American co-production: aperitifs or digestifs, depending on your time zone!)
May 18, 8 pm BookSmart at Magic City Book. Register here.
The last two times I’ve gotten lunch with Lauren, she’s told me about some of the challenges inherent to a reporting project like this one. I anticipate she’ll discuss that during the tour as well, but, in short: This book represents exactly the sort of exceptionally resource-intensive journalism that is most threatened by the industry’s collapse, and which most needs to be supported at the moment. Within journalism, there is simply no alternative to doing what Lauren did: attempting to tell, in as fair and textured and compelling a manner as possible, the story of someone whose life would otherwise be invisible to most people. That’s especially important when that person’s life can force us to confront things about society we might not otherwise be inclined to grapple with. So whether or not you enter the contest, please consider ordering ordering This Is All I Got.
You’ll hear more from me soon — thanks for subscribing, and I hope you’re hanging in there.