We Are Tiny: Streetwise Fiction

Follow us throughout the fall for posts which highlight library resources and information that supports the Tiny: Streetwise Revisited exhibit at the Central Library and its community programming.

The life of Erin Blackwell can be flipped through in a book and analyzed through the television screen, but don’t think for a minute that she’s not real. Tiny has had a life all her own and so have countless other children of the streets. While this list of books contains fictional characters they touch upon very real situations that people on the streets deal with on a daily basis. Where to eat, where to sleep, and wondering if they will ever find “home”.

two riversTwo Rivers by T. Greenwood is mainly the story of Harper Montgomery, but it is also the story of love, connection, and redemption going back and forth between the past and the present. When a train derails in the small town of Two Rivers, Vermont, Harper takes in Maggie, a survivor of the wreckage with nowhere else to go. As the story unfolds we find that Maggie is expecting a baby, Harper is still distraught over the death of his wife 12 years earlier, and Harper’s daughter Shelly is eager for an emotionally available parent (although finds friendship in Maggie). As the pieces come together you see the whole story and what a story it is.

salt gods daughterThe Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby. Ruthie and her sister Dolly go from place to place in a beat up station wagon following the whims of their frequently absent mother leaving them homeless and unsupervised over and over again. To endure they work odds jobs, dumpster dive, and try to survive on the fringes of society. As Ruth gets older and goes her own way, we see the effect her mother has had on her and her search for love. She finds that love in her daughter Naida, who she promises will never be denied a mother’s love. Very much a story about mothers and daughters, I found the magical realism a lovely addition to a painful and beautiful story.rent girl

Rent Girl by Michelle Tea. An illustrated novel that offers a frank telling of the life of a lesbian sex worker. We walk through the daily troubles of life as a prostitute as she travels along that fine line of financial survival and trying not to lose herself along the way. Although very confident in her choices (she makes no excuses for it), but she also has to keep the reins of her heart in check. Ultimately, she has to make the decision to stay in this world or find freedom from it.

These fictional works feature homeless and insecurely housed characters from different backgrounds. This list was created by a librarian at The Seattle Public Library for the “Streetwise Revisited: A 30-year Journey” exhibit, September 15th through November 3rd, 2016 at the Central Library: Streetwise Revisited: Homelessness in Adult Fiction


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