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In 2016, a Detroit arts organization grants writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore a free house—a room of her own, à la Virginia Woolf—in Detroit’s majority-Bangladeshi “Banglatown.” Accompanied by her cats, Moore moves to the bungalow in her new city where she gardens, befriends the neighborhood youth, and grows to intimately understand civic collapse and community solidarity. When the troubled history of her prize house comes to light, Moore finds her life destabilized by the aftershocks of the housing crisis and governmental corruption.
This is also a memoir of art, gender, work, and survival. Moore writes into the gaps of Woolf’s declaration that “a woman must have money and a room of one’s own if she is to write”; what if this woman were queer and living with chronic illness, as Moore is, or a South Asian immigrant, like Moore’s neighbors? And what if her primary coping mechanism was jokes?
Part investigation, part comedy of a vexing city, and part love letter to girlhood, Gentrifier examines capitalism, property ownership, and whiteness, asking if we can ever really win when violence and profit are inextricably linked with victory.
"With wry humor and uncommon insight, Anne Elizabeth Moore crafts an intimate portrait of self-determination and communal possibility in a resilient Detroit neighborhood. Yes, this book is about gentrification, but it is also about neighborhood sustainability, government corruption, nonprofit hypocrisy, chronic illness, gardening, girlhood, family, racism, education, misogyny, autonomy, queer striving, a writer’s life, and the elusive and ever-present search for home." —Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door
Anne Elizabeth Moore was born in Winner, South Dakota. She has written several critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including the Lambda Literary Award–nominated Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, which was a Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017, and Sweet Little Cunt, which won an Eisner Award. She lives in Hobart, New York, with her cat, Captain America.
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