Lauren Sandler
AUTHOR

Lauren Sandler

Hi, I’m Lauren Sandler. I'm a journalist and author who writes about culture and inequality. My new book is called THIS IS ALL I GOT: A New Mother's Search For home. When I moved to New York City in 1992, homelessness was already considered a national crisis. The night I unpacked my bags uptown, 23,482 people slept in the city’s public shelters. By the 2015 evening I met Camila, a twenty-two-year old homeless soon-to-be single mother, that number had tripled. THIS IS ALL I GOT begins as Camila goes into labor in a shelter in Brooklyn, and follows her to the overcrowded Bronx apartment where she lands after an untimely eviction. The book witnesses her navigate welfare benefits, housing vouchers, child support, and what she must endure to stay in college and stay sane. Throughout, Camila’s intimacies—with people with whom she shares DNA, living space, desire, grudges, heartbreak—help us know this complicated character whose ambitions and passions are nearly as great as the constant crises she has no choice but to confront. Camila’s caseworkers would tell you that they’ve never seen anyone as knowledgeable about the system in which she was stranded. It quickly became clear to me: If she couldn’t use her wits and persistence to make the system work for her, no one could. My first book was RIGHTEOUS: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement, about my journalistic immersion into the young Christian right. My second book, ONE AND ONLY: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One, considered how we want women to be mothers more than anything else, despite the US outlier status in supporting parents, and how we demonize what to many is a sane -- and loving choice -- to have just one kid. Thanks to everyone here who has read and reviewed both books.

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