Gentrifier: A Memoir
This kaleidoscopic page-turner chronicles the absurdities and hard-won joys of existing in a body, a household, a community, and a country. I don’t know how Anne managed to write the funniest book I’ve read in years *and* the most honest one about the scramble of American life, but she did, and we are the better for it. —Jace Clayton, author of Uproot
Funny, tender, rigorous, and alive. . . . A tour de force by a writer who is smart enough to let activism and absurdity sit side by side, and let them go. I’m in awe.
—Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World
In 2016, a Detroit arts organization grants Anne Elizabeth Moore, Eisner winner and Lambda Literary Award finalist, a free house—a room of her own, à la Virginia Woolf—in Detroit’s majority-Bangladeshi “Banglatown.” Within months, her life changes dramatically, as relayed in this hilarious and gutting memoir
Accompanied by her cats, Anne Elizabeth Moore moves to a bungalow in a 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 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 her 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 is 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.