Books about growing up poor in the U.S.
November 13, 2011 5:45 PM Subscribe
I'm looking for books, nonfiction or fiction, that accurately and effectively discuss, portray, and/or meditate on the condition of specifically children, or perhaps more broadly families, being poor. Any ethnicity or cultural group, although I am primarily interested in relatively contemporary narratives, 1950 or later, more or less.
posted by grokfest to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Where I'm coming from: I grew up probably lower-middle-class (though these things are kind of difficult to assess) and attended a very fancy college on full scholarship. I'm feeling both out of touch with where I came from and searching for common expressions of my experience, both my experience as a kid and of the growing out of poorness, since I'm on a path that could lead to being at least middle-class if I want to be. I'm also interested in gaining a better understanding of the context, being able to better place my experience within the broader economic system in the U.S. The best book that I've read so far that described the experience of growing up poor and precocious, and feeling torn about moving on, is The House on Mango Street
. I recently read Class Matters
and was thoroughly unimpressed with the treatment. I absolutely LOVED this essay
by Joe. Raymond Carver's stories
also come to mind as an appropriate example. More, please?