American Precariat

American Precariat

Fifteen essays coedited by a collective of award-winning incarcerated writers, featuring contributions from Lacy M. Johnson, Kiese Laymon, Valeria Luiselli, Kao Kalia Yang, and more, with a foreword by Zeke Caligiuri and an introduction by Eula Biss.

"This is a volume edited by the imprisoned, because the history of class has always been written by the powerful."

This groundbreaking anthology of essays edited by incarcerated writers takes a sharp look at the complexity and fluidity of class and caste systems in the United States. Featuring accounts that include gig work as a delivery driver, homelessness among trans youth, and life with immense student loan debt, in addition to transcripts of insightful discussions between the editors, American Precariat demonstrates how various and often invisible extreme instability can be. With the understanding that widespread recognition of collective precarity is an urgent concern, the anthology situates each individual portrait within societal structures of exclusion, scarcity, and criminality.

These essays write through the silence around class to enumerate the risks that our material conditions leave us no choice but to take. A rendering of the present moment told from below, American Precariat shares stories of the unseen and the unspoken and articulates the lines of our division. In doing so, it offers healing for some of the world's fractures.

Publication Date: 
November 14, 2023