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  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781646220700
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $43.99

Gentrifier

A Memoir



Taking on the thorny ethics of owning and selling property as a white woman in a majority Black city and a majority Bangladeshi neighborhood with both intelligence and humor, this memoir brings a new perspective to a Detroit that finds itself perpetually on the brink of revitalization.

In 2016, a Detroit arts organization grants writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore a free house—a room of her own, à la Virginia Woolf—in Detroit’s majority-Bangladeshi “Banglatown.” Accompanied by her cats, Moore moves to the bungalow in her 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 also 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 one’s 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 was 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.

  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781646220700
  • Imprint: Catapult
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $43.99

Praise for Gentrifier

"Gentrifier is an indictment of institutionalized racism, xenophobia, and greed—in both public and private spheres. But the heart of the book lies with Moore's personal story, told with warmth and self-deprecating wit, breezy and deep in turn." —Abeer Hoque, author of Olive Witch "Funny, tender, rigorous, and alive, Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Gentrifier is the best book I’ve read on this freighted subject, and so much more. Along the way, you learn a lot about the wonders and complexities of one particular neighborhood in Detroit, but in turn your own community—what you’ve overlooked, and all you want to make better. 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 "Anne Elizabeth Moore's writing pulls no punches, rolls up its sleeves, and digs into difficulty with grace and aplomb. Gentrifier is a beautiful, complicated ode to a city, to creativity, and to community. It is funny, it is devastating, it is insightful. It is a tremendous call for change. I would read anything Moore writes—including her grocery list—and happily. Read this." —Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators "Anne Elizabeth Moore is one of our great chroniclers of the collisions between the personal and the political. A contemporary A Room of One's Own, Gentrifier interrogates the relationships between class, race, gender, religion, sexuality, economics, love, community, and the medical industrial complex, all through the lens of Moore's experience of being given a 'free' house in Detroit. This story of a house, a city, and what it means to be a woman on one's own illuminates the utterly compelling complexities that lie beneath the veneer of what outsiders can glimpse in this one of a kind American city. Moore offers a window through which we can deeply examine the beauties, booby-traps, and at times Kafkaesque logistics of what it means to be an artist in the contemporary Midwestern landscape." —Gina Frangello, author of Blow Your House Down

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