Kill the Poor

Institute History


Set in the melting pot of New York City’s Lower East Side, KILL THE POOR is about the urban frontiers that bend the shape of the American dream beyond recognition. Jo-Jo Peltz, the hero/anti-hero of this harshly voiced, gritty story, sells papers at his family’s newsstand in Times Square. Despeerate for a place to live, he returns with Annabelle, his French wife, and their newborn daughter to the same block in the decaying neighborhood where his Jewish grandparents had settled when they first came to America. But his family had fled these tenements as soon as they could, and the immigrant neighborhood is now Hispanic, and contested for by drug dealers and gentrifiers. Caught in the local racial tension, Jo-Jo rediscovers his roots while trying to survive and make a home for his family. KILL THE POOR is about collapsed society and killing poverty that sets each camp against all the others.

While remaining true to the reality of its setting, KILL THE POOR is distinguished by a genuine affection and sympathy for each of its characters. This lends an element of humor and warmth, an almost redemptive, magical quality that mingles with the book’s unflinching realism.


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