Verlegt von
Doubleday/Nan A. Talese Books (1992-01-05)


The Story of Two Boys Growing up in the Other America

by Kotlowitz, Alex

This is the moving and powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

There Are No Children Here, the true story of brothers Lafeyette and Pharoah Rivers, ages 11 and 9 at the start, brings home the horror of trying to make it in a violence-ridden public housing project. The boys live in a gang-plagued war zone on Chicago's West Side, literally learning how to dodge bullets the way kids in the suburbs learn to chase baseballs.
"If I grow up, I'd like to be a bus driver," says Lafeyette at one point. That's if, not when--spoken with the complete innocence of a child. The book's title comes from a comment made by the brothers' mother as she and author Alex Kotlowitz contemplate the challenges of living in such a hostile environment: "There are no children here," she says. "They've seen too much to be children."

This book humanizes the problem of inner-city pathology, makes readers care about Lafeyette and Pharoah more than they may expect to, and offers a sliver of hope buried deep within a world of chaos.

ALEX KOTLOWITZ is the bestselling author of three previous books, including An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday 2019) and the national bestseller There Are No Children Here, selected by the New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. The Other Side of the River was awarded the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and on This American Life. His documentary work includes The Interrupters, for which he received a Film Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. His other honors include a George Polk Award, two Peabodys, the Helen B. Bernstein Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He teaches at Northwestern University.

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Kotlowitz has achieved a triumph of empathy as well as a significant feat of reporting.

Review: Los Angeles Times

Alex Kotlowitz's story informs the heart. His meticulous portrait of two boys in a Chicago housing project shows how much heroism is required to survive, let alone escape.

Review: The New York Times

Alex Kotlowitz joins the ranks of the important few writers on the subiect of urban poverty.

Review: Chicago Tribune

An extraordinary glimpse into the lives of those struggling for survival and dignity in inner-city America.

Review: Chicago Sun-Times

A powerful argument against the politics of inertia, hopelessness, and greed, and for a real war on poverty, violence, and racism in our country.

Quote: Tracy Kidder, author of Among the Schoolchildren

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