Matthew Desmond selected for Everybody Reads 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. — July 28, 2016 — Next January, Multnomah County Library will launch Everybody Reads 2017, the library’s 15th annual community reading project, with Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Evicted explores the lives of people in Milwaukee, Wis. — tenants and landlords alike — who are grappling with the circumstances of eviction. This acclaimed work looks into the circumstances that precede eviction and chronicles the compounding effects on lives, families and communities afterward.

Evicted is a wrenching and candid look into issues that are so visible in our own community,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “With this selection, the library and its partners hope to contribute to the critical and difficult conversations happening in our community around poverty, affordable housing and homelessness.”

Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and codirector of the Justice and Poverty Project. He is the author of the award-winning book On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “genius grant.”

How to participate

Through a shared reading experience, we will discuss issues that matter, learn from each other and promote greater understanding.


Extra copies of the books will be available in January 2017 at all neighborhood libraries, and e-books will be downloadable from the library catalog, thanks to the generous support of The Library Foundation. Readers are encouraged to share extra copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors.


Beginning in February 2017, share your thoughts at a book discussion at your neighborhood library or bookstore.


Attend a cultural program. Dates will be announced soon.

Be inspired.

Desmond will speak on Thursday, March 9, 2017, 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets are available from Literary Arts.

Everybody Reads, a community reading project of Multnomah County Library, is made possible in part by The Library Foundation with author appearance made possible by Literary Arts.