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Screw the American Dream

How can delinquent homeowners worry about paying the mortgage when they can’t even afford a moving van? That’s the question Paul Reyes explores in Exiles in Eden: Life Among the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession, his poetic, pull-no-punches personal account of how the foreclosure crisis has affected his family and the people and communities of the Sunshine State.

While working with his father’s small company that specializes in “trashing out” foreclosed homes, Reyes observed firsthand the harrowing impact of the economic downturn. The author and his father were responsible for entering abandoned homes and removing all signs of the former tenants. Reyes writes that their job was to erase “all traces of whoever lived there, dispensing with both their physical presence and the ugly aura of eviction.” They wiped away every fingerprint and buffed every scuff mark.
Wed., Sept. 1, 8 p.m., 2010


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