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Jesse Katz at Skylight Books

July 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

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Join us for Tattoos on the Heart meets Ghettoside in this gripping true story about a botched gang murder set in the invisible economy of LA’s immigrant street vendors

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 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, GQ, The American Prospect, Pacific Standard, California Sunday Magazine, and in the anthologies Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Crime Writing, and Best American Sports Writing. He teaches at the University of California, Irvine, and has volunteered at both Central Juvenile Hall and the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. He lives in Los Angeles.

Mike Sonksen, aka Mike the PoeT, is an acclaimed poet, professor, journalist, historian and tour guide. He teaches at Woodbury University, where he serves as the Coordinator of the school’s First Year Experience Program. He has published over 500 essays and poems, most recently two excerpts in Dear California: The Golden State in Diaries and Letters, edited by David Kipen (Stanford University Press, September 2023). He has delivered over 2,000 poetry readings, served as guest speaker at over 100 academic institutions, appeared on radio and television and hosted events in locations like Grand Performances and Getty Center. The second edition of his latest book, Letters To My City was published by Writ Large Press.

Event date:
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 – 7:00pm
Event address:
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los AngelesCA 90027


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Skylight Books

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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