Leslie Jamison — American Novelist born on December 30, 1985,

Leslie Jamison is an American novelist and essayist. Her work has been published in Best New American Voices 2008,A Public Space, and Black Warrior Review. Originally from Los Angeles, she attended Harvard University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and undertook a Ph.D. in English literature at Yale. Her father is the economist and global health researcher Dean Jamison... (wikipedia)

The global phenomenon of poverty tourism - or 'poorism' - has become increasingly popular during the past few years. Tourists pay to be guided through the favelas of Brazil and the shantytowns of South Africa. The recently opened Los Angeles Gang Tour carries visitors through battle-scarred territories of urban violence and deprivation.
Armchair poverty tourism has been around as long as authors have written about class. As an author, I have struggled myself with the nuances of writing about poverty without reducing any community to a catalog of its difficulties.
Redeeming subjects from cliche is its own pleasure and privilege.
The 'here' of Watts is pastel houses with window gratings in curly patterns. 'Here' is yard sales with bins full of stuffed animals and used water guns. Here is Crips turf.
Whenever I've been stuck on a project, it's always brought me solace to the return to books that moved me in the past. It's a nice way to get outside my own head; and it brings me back to one of the most important reasons I write at all: to bring some pleasure to readers, to make them think or feel.