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Kill the Poor

Jo-Jo is a soldier on the front line of Alphabet City, the notorious neighborhood embedded in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where professional couples compete with drug dealers and muggers for control of the street--and vie with welfare families for possession of the area’s crumbling buildings. Jo-Jo and his pregnant wife were desperate when they moved into the neighborhood--the very slums that his parents had spent most of their lives working to get out of--and risked everything to join the other homesteaders rebuilding the shells of buildings that had been abandoned by their landlords. Now their daughter goes to daycare across from where they live and Jo-Jo must fight to make a home for his family amidst the random violence and killing poverty of a bizarre urban frontier—where the rule of survival is dog-eat-dog.

Four Months on the Village Voice Best Seller List

“Gripping, realist fiction... What gives the novel life, though, is not its casual cynicism, but its unerring portrayal of street life, a constant source of drama and entertainment…compelling.”

--Kirkus Reviews

"A rich commentary on a changing society."
--Denver Post

"A skillful depiction of the neighborhood, its history and its decay."
--Village Voice

"Tough, terse snapshots of urban America"
--The Chicago Tribune

"Undeniable charm and gritty rhythm."
--Philadelphia Inquirer

"Wholly convincing, compelling, and full of energy."
--The Baltimore Sun