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Nomads of a Desert City: Personal Stories from Citizens of the Street

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Nomads of a Desert City: Personal Stories from Citizens of the Street.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Barbara Seyda(Author)

    Book details


You see them as faceless shapes on the median or in city parks. You recognize them by their cardboard signs, their bags of aluminum cans, or their weathered skin. But you do not know them.

In Nomads of a Desert City Barbara Seyda meets the gazes of our homeless neighbors and, with an open heart and the eye of an accomplished photographer, uncovers their compelling stories of life on the edge.

Byrdy is a teenager from Alaska who left a violent husband and misses the young daughter her mother now cares for. Her eyes show a wisdom that belies her youth. Samuel is 95 and collects cans for cash. His face shows a lifetime of living outside while his eyes hint at the countless stories he could tell. Lamanda worked as an accountant before an act of desperation landed her in prison. Now she struggles to raise the seven children of a woman she met there. Dorothy—whose earliest memories are of physical and sexual abuse—lives in a shelter, paycheck to paycheck, reciting affirmations so she may continue “to grace the world with my presence.”

They live on the streets or in shelters. They are women and men, young and old, Native or Anglo or Black or Hispanic. Their faces reflect the forces that have shaped their lives: alcoholism, poverty, racism, mental illness, and abuse. But like desert survivors, they draw strength from some hidden reservoir.

Few recent studies on homelessness offer such a revealing collection of oral history narratives and compelling portraits. Thirteen homeless women and men open a rare window to enrich our understanding of the complex personal struggles and triumphs of their lives. Nomads of a Desert City sheds a glaring light on the shadow side of the American Dream—and takes us to the crossroads of despair and hope where the human spirit survives.

"An extraordinarily compelling documentary, whose words and pictures tell us of the determination and resourcefulness of vulnerable and hard-pressed people." -- Robert Coles"Barbara Seyda's photos and interviews of the homeless will inspire and touch readers." -- Bobby Burns, homeless advocate and author of Shelter"Her photographs show their strength and determination, their questioning of their circumstances." -- photographer Jos You see them as faceless shapes on the median or in city parks. You recognize them by their cardboard signs, their bags of aluminum cans, or their weathered skin. But you do not know them. In "Nomads of a Desert City" Barbara Seyda meets the gazes of our homeless neighbors and, with an open heart and the eye of an accomplished photographer, uncovers their compelling stories of life on the edge. Byrdy is a teenager from Alaska who left a violent husband and misses the young daughter her mother now cares for. Her eyes show a wisdom that belies her youth. Samuel is 95 and collects cans for cash. His face shows a lifetime of living outside while his eyes hint at the countless stories he could tell. Lamanda worked as an accountant before an act of desperation landed her in prison. Now she struggles to raise the seven children of a woman she met there. Dorothy--whose earliest memories are of physical and sexual abuse--lives in a shelter, paycheck to paycheck, reciting affirmations so she may continue "to grace the world with my presence." They live on the streets or in shelters. They are women and men, young and old, Native or Anglo or Black or Hispanic. Their faces reflect the forces that have shaped their lives: alcoholism, poverty, racism, mental illness, and abuse. But like desert survivors, they draw strength from some hidden reservoir. Few recent studies on homelessness offer such a revealing collection of oral history narratives and compelling portraits. Thirteen homeless women and men open a rare window to enrich our understanding of the complex personal struggles and triumphs of their lives. "Nomads of a Desert City" sheds a glaring light on the shadow side of theAmerican Dreamaand takes us to the crossroads of despair and hope where the human spirit survives.

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Book details

  • PDF | 102 pages
  • Barbara Seyda(Author)
  • University of Arizona Press (August 1, 2001)
  • English
  • 3
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By A customer on July 17, 2003

    This book is like a hard punch in the gut. With its rough pictures and raw interviews, it is quite a tour-de-force by a great photographer. The people profiled really open their hearts up to Barbara Seyda. There is nothing on earth quite like this powerful book.

  • By Monica Hendricks on September 27, 2001

    Barbara Seyda has eptomized the words, "...in the end only kindness matters..." a real look at homeless not only in Tucson, but everywhere...thanks Barbara Jo


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