Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City
Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and investigative journalist Andrea Elliott has dedicated her career to unflinching, eye-opening reporting on the human cost of structural inequality. Her book Invisible Child—winner of a 2022 Pulitzer Prize, one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2021, and named one of the best books of the year by NPR, Amazon, and The New York Times—tells the riveting story of Dasani, a homeless New York schoolgirl, whose indomitable spirit is tested by poverty and racism in an unequal America. Elliott’s sweeping saga of struggle and resilience is “a remarkable achievement that speaks to the heart and conscience of a nation” (Publishers Weekly).
“A vivid and devastating story of American inequality.”— The New York Times
Andrea Elliot’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning book Invisible Child follows Dasani Coates, a homeless New York schoolgirl, and her family. Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize winner for Evicted, called it a “rare and powerful work whose stories will live inside you long after you’ve read them.” Andrea’s tenacious reporting reveals the devastation of racism and inequality, in a “searing account of poverty and addiction, and of the city and country’s repeated failures to address those issues” (The New York Times). But it’s also an intimate chronicle of Dasani’s hopes and triumphs, and of resilience in the midst of difficulty. In her Pulitzer Prize remarks, Andrea said her greatest hope “is that Invisible Child will open people’s eyes to how poverty, homelessness and structural racism play out, on the ground. And that to see into the life of this one, brave child — from her deepest burdens to her greatest hopes — is to see our nation in all its dimensions.” The book was named the best non-fiction book of 2021 by Amazon and “destined to become one of the classics of the genre” (Newsweek). It was one of The New York Times’ top five non-fiction books of the year. Elliott’s reporting on Dasani also prompted city officials to remove 400 children from substandard shelters.
Elliot is an investigative reporter for The New York Times — where her feature writing won her the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism — and a former staff writer at The Miami Herald. She is the first woman to win individual Pulitzer Prizes in both Journalism and Arts & Letters. She has served as an Emerson Collective fellow at New America, a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a visiting scholar at the Columbia Population Research Center. Elliott is the recipient of a George Polk award, an Overseas Press Club prize and a Whiting Foundation grant, and she also received Columbia University’s Medal for Excellence and an honorary doctorate from Niagara University. She has appeared on media such as NPR’s Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation, CNN, and the BBC.