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Jesse Katz at Elliott Bay (In Conversation with Eric Nusbaum)

July 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Featured image for Jesse Katz.



Journalist Jesse Katz visits from LA to discuss his new book, The Rent Collectors, with local author Eric Nusbaum.

Baby-faced teen Giovanni Macedo is desperate to find belonging in one of LA’s most predatory gangs, the Columbia Lil Cycos—so desperate that he agrees to kill an undocumented Mexican street vendor. The vendor, Francisco Clemente, had been refusing to give in to the gang’s shakedown demands. But Giovanni botches the hit, accidentally killing a newborn instead. The overlords who rule the Lil Cycos from a Supermax prison 1,000 miles away must be placated and Giovanni is lured across the border where, in turn, the gang botches his killing. And so, incredibly, Giovanni rises from the dead, determined to both seek redemption for his unforgivable crime and take down the gang who drove him to do it.

With The Rent Collectors, Jesse Katz has built a teeth clenching and breathless narrative that explicates the difficult and proud lives of undocumented black market workers who are being extorted by the gangs and fined by the city of LA—in other words, exploited by two sets of rent collectors.

Jesse Katz spent fifteen years as a journalist at the Los Angeles Times and another nine years at Los Angeles Magazine. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, Details, The American Prospect, Pacific Standard, and in the anthologies Best American Magazine Writing and Best American Crime Writing. He teaches in the literary journalism program at the University of California, Irvine, and has volunteered at both Central Juvenile Hall and the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility through a nonprofit called InsideOUT Writers. He lives in Los Angeles with his son.

Eric Nusbaum is the author of Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between. He is also the editor in chief of Seattle Met magazine and a former editor at VICE. He lives in Tacoma, Washington with his family.


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Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122 United States

The Rent Collectors

Author: Jesse Katz

“For a tough-guy book about tough guys, this is a work of almost unerring tenderness. If its subtitle promises “redemption,” the book itself delivers something more honest: stories about people…

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