Nearly 20 million households in America are one paycheck away from losing their homes. For many of these families, keeping a roof over their head means having to choose between the rent or dinner that evening. This hour, we explore how housing insecurity drives poverty in America.
Writer and activist Linda Tirado has lived a lot of shabby apartments over the years. She's dealt with greedy landlords, flooded apartments and bug infestations. As she writes in her memoir "Hand To Mouth: Living In Bootstrap America," substandard housing is just a fact of life when you're part of the working poor in America.
For his book "Evicted: Poverty And Profit In the American City," Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond spent more than a year living in some of Milwaukee's poorest black and white neighborhoods. He says evictions lock entire families into an endless cycle of poverty, and are far more common than they used to be.
Chronic homelessness can seem like an intractable problem in America, but there's a new experiment going on across the country that's offering a bold new solution. The answer? Give people homes without any preconditions attached. It's called Housing First, and it's changing the way social workers think about homelesness.
David Bromberg was once a legendary name in the American folk scene, but then he disappeared. He stopped performing and ultimately discovered a new career as a violin maker and collector. He's since returned to music, put together a quintet, and recorded a Grammy-nominated album. He dropped by our studios to perform a few songs and talk about his journey away from and back to music.
Are you tired of the old way of fiction? Are Japanese cell phone novels just not doing it for you any more? Fear not. Today, we meet writers who are blowing up the novel by inventing new forms of fiction.
Canadian novelist Sheila Heti talks about her new novel, "How Should a Person Be?" It's fiction, but the characters are real people -- they seem to be Sheila herself and her friends. Some of the dialogue is from actual conversations she transcribed. So what is this thing?
Novelists have always mined their own lives for inspiration. But no ever's gone quite as far as Karl Ove Knausgaard. People call him the Norwegian Proust. He recently came out with the sixth volume of his autobiographical novel, "My Struggle." What's remarkable about Knausgaard is not just that he's telling the story of his life as a novel. It's the incredible level of detail.
Mark Z. Danielewski has a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to writing novels. His debut novel, "House of Leaves," is full of multiple layers, strange typography, and footnotes within footnotes. And his new novel, "The Familiar," will consist of 27 volumes, two or three which will be published every year. Danielewski compares "The Familiar" to a TV series.
On our minds this week is the story of a long-lost country music album that's just been released 40 years after it was recorded. Country musicians Vince Matthews and Jim Casey recorded "The Kingston Springs Suite" back in the early '70s. It was backed by some big names. At the time, Matthews and Casey were rising stars in Nashville. But after their record deal tanked, Matthews' career faded away. He died in 2003 but Jim Casey is still around to talk about the album.