POOR PEOPLE

Vollmann, William T.

Published by Ecco Press, 2007
ISBN 10: 0060878827 / ISBN 13: 9780060878825
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Book condition is Very Good+; with a Very Good+ price clipped dust jacket. Text is clean and unmarked. ; 9 X 6.20 X 1.60 inches; 464 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2874

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because i was bad in my last life.
because allah has willed it.
because the rich do nothing for the poor.
because the poor do nothing for themselves.
because it is my destiny.

These are just some of the answers to the simple yet groundbreaking question William T. Vollmann asks in cities and villages around the globe: "Why are you poor?" In the tradition of James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Vollmann's Poor People struggles to confront poverty in all its hopelessness and brutality, its pride and abject fear, its fierce misery and its quiet resignation. Poor People allows the poor to speak for themselves, explaining the causes and consequences of their impoverishment in their own cultural, social, and religious terms.

There is the alcoholic mother in Buddhist Thailand, sure that her poverty is punishment for transgressions in a former life, and her ten-year-old daughter, whose faith in her own innocence gives her hope that her sin in the last life was simply being rich. There is the Siberian-born beggar who pins her woes on a tick bite and a Gypsy curse more than a half century ago, and the homeless, widowed Afghan women who have been relegated to a "respected" but damning invisibility. There are Big and Little Mountain, two Japanese salarymen who lost their jobs suddenly and now live in a blue-tarp hut under a Kyoto bridge. And, most haunting of all, there is the faded, starving beggar-girl, staring empty-eyed on the back steps of Bangkok's Central Railroad Station, whose only response to Vollmann's query is simply, "I think I am rich."

The result of Vollmann's fearless journey is a look at poverty unlike any other. Complete with more than 100 powerfully affecting photographs—taken of the interviewees by the author himself—this series of vignettes and searing insights represents a tremendous step toward an understanding of this age-old social ill. With intense compassion and a scrupulously unpatronizing eye, Vollmann invites his readers to recognize in our fellow human beings their full dignity, fallibility, pride, and pain, and the power of their hard-fought resilience.

About the Author:

William T. Vollmann is the author of seven novels, three collections of stories, and a seven-volume critique of violence, Rising Up and Rising Down. He is also the author of Poor People, a worldwide examination of poverty through the eyes of the impoverished themselves; Riding Toward Everywhere, an examination of the train-hopping hobo lifestyle; and Imperial, a panoramic look at one of the poorest areas in America. He has won the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction, a Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize and a Whiting Writers' Award. His journalism and fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Esquire, Spin and Granta. Vollmann lives in Sacramento, California.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: POOR PEOPLE
Publisher: Ecco Press
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Hardcover
Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

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Vollmann, William T.
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Book Description Ecco, New York, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. ABout new book, unmarked but for remainder line to bottom edge; in barely rubbed DJ. ; 1.6 x 9 x 6.2 Inches; 464 pages. Seller Inventory # 26871

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Book Description Ecco Press, 2007. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition.. Hardback first impression. SIGNED at ffep with name only. VG+ in VG+ unclipped jacket. Language: eng Language: eng. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # ABE-1509391380257

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Book Description Ecco/An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 2007. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Book is clean and tight. Dust Jacket covered with mylar. First Edition - First Printing. 314 pages plus 128 pages of photographs following text. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 002347

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Book Description Ecco, New York, 2007. Hard Cover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. Now that he's tackled violence, Vollmann explores poverty. In great shape. Seller Inventory # 004912

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