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Voices of the hungry and homeless

  • Posted by: Daniella Snyder
  • Posted Date: October 31, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

I’m Daniella Snyder, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your newest ‘Cat in Falvey Memorial Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how Falvey can play a large role in your success here on campus!

When we think about November, we usually think about gratitude, family and friends, and of course, Thanksgiving turkey. While we should use this month to be thankful for what we have, we should remember that not everyone has the same experience. There are some people with no family to see, no home to visit, and no food for Thanksgiving dinner.

November is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month. If you think this doesn’t directly affect you or the people around you, think again. A recent study found that more than a third of college students do not have access to stable meals and housing. Read NPR’s article about it here.

While there are certainly ways you can directly help, we at the Falvey Memorial Library want to share the voices and narratives of those affected by hunger and homelessness. This month, we urge you to take a moment to read, reflect, empathize, and understand.

Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow

Source: Amazon.


“Liebow here succeeds in demolishing the anonymity of the homeless. Skillfully blending a social scientist’s objectivity with humanitarian concern, he observes women who live in a variety of shelters near Washington, D.C.–how they interact with one another, family and shelter staff; pass their days; and struggle to retain their dignity in the face of rejection by society…Liebow’s probing and morally honest report reveals hard truths about the humanity and inhumanity of us all.”

Publishers Weekly





Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America by Jonathan Kozol

Source: Amazon.



“First published in 1988 and based on the months the author spent among America’s homeless, Rachel and Her Children is an unforgettable record of the desperate voices of men, women, and especially children caught up in a nightmarish situation that tears at the hearts of readers. With record numbers of homeless children and adults flooding the nation’s shelters, Rachel and Her Children offers a look at homelessness that resonates even louder today.”






Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn

Source: Amazon.


“There’s a part in the memoir where we leave the known world and enter into a play with five Santa Clauses in a Dunkin Donuts re-enacting King Lear. It’s a moment in the book, and it was a moment in my life, when I had a psychic breakdown, and through the play I’m trying to re-enact that psychic breakdown, without using those words. Instead, the world becomes surreal, fragmented, nightmarish. If I’d merely said “I had a psychic breakdown,” it wouldn’t allow the reader to participate in it. Now, whether the reader wants to participate in my psychic breakdown or not, that’s not for me to answer. You figure it out as you go along, how one can enact emotion, through objective correlatives, the world outside yourself, however you find it.”

-Nick Flynn



Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Source: Amazon.


“Ehrenreich’s picture of the working poor was taken during the best of times. Yet the comforting economic clichés offered by our pundits failed even under those boom conditions: a rising tide does not lift all boats; trickledown economics stops just south of the middle class. So much for tall theories…We have Barbara Ehrenreich to thank for bringing us the news of America’s working poor so clearly and directly, and conveying with it a deep moral outrage and a finely textured sense of lives as lived. As Michael Harrington was, she is now our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.”

The New Yorker








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Last Modified: October 31, 2018

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