Every Day We Live Is the Future : Surviving in a City of Disasters
by Haynes, Douglas

Map of Nicaragua
Map of Managua
Family Treesx
Part One Storms without Names
Part Two Down from the Mountains
Part Three Sheltering
Part Four The Sum of Small Disasters
Author's Note257(4)

Reminiscent of Katherine Boo's bestseller, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, this vivid, cautionary tale of urban inequality and the human suffering caused by climate change recounts the true stories of two Nicaraguan families' quests to survive in one of th

Douglas Haynes is an essayist, journalist, and poet whose work has appeared in Orion, Longreads, Virginia Quarterly Review, Huffington Post, Boston Review, and many other publications. He teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

A humanized illumination of the challenges facing developing countries as climate change accelerates the race to the bottom.There are no easy answers for the two extended families who are the subject of Haynes' (English/Univ. of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) deeply intensive reporting, but, as the title suggests, there is no hopeless defeatism either. They may live from flood to drought, from earthquake to earthquake, and from slum to overcrowded evacuation center, but family relationships, personal responsibility, and hope that education brings their children a better future keep them afloat. The author began his personal journey to this story as a high school student writing a newspaper story criticizing American policy in Central America. His subsequent experience is as an essayist and poet who teaches writing rather than as a scientist or political scientist, though he refers to those disciplines in extending his own theses. Haynes traces the lives of two families who have left the Nicaraguan countryside to fend for themselves in urban, impoverished Managua, a city that is perennially under the threat of destruction from earthquakes and flooding, where the shantytown called The Widows sits on Lake Managua, which one scientist calls "the world's biggest toilet." With basic subsistence such a challenge, the narrative, often in the present tense, depicts marriages that collapse under pressure, children who suffer and die, epidemics of dengue fever and alcoholism alike. But the author also shows an indomitable human spirit and resilience in the face of long odds and no safety net. He tells the story of these people in their singularity but also what it augurs for a developing world that has seen "a meteoric mass migration that made Latin America the most urbanized region in the world, as well as the most unequal," amid U.N. predictions "that, by 2050, three billion people might live in shantytowns and favelas-almost half of the world's projected urb a n population." A potent book that gives faces and voices to trends that are too often reduced to cold statistics and academic analyses. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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