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Lauren Brazeal’s debut collection is based on her own experience with homelessness, living on the streets of Los Angeles as a teenager. The story, told from the perspective of a young girl surviving as a squatter on the streets of LA, bounces in time and perspective from the not-yet-homeless child, to the panhandling sprite, to the mournful survivor. More than the narrative of a single person, Gutter offers an honest, intimate look into an aspect of American poverty that’s rarely written about, and speaks to the struggles of those who have been cast aside as irrelevant or undesirable by mainstream society.