An Evening with Nikhil Goyal, author of LIVE TO SEE THE DAY (EVENT AT CAPACITY!)

Tuesday, August 22nd, at 6:30 PM

Please join us on August 22nd for An Evening with Nikhil Goyal, author of LIVE TO SEE THE DAY: Coming of Age in American Poverty


An indelible portrait of three children struggling to survive in the poorest neighborhood of the poorest large city in America.

Kensington, Philadelphia, is distinguished only by its poverty. It is home to Ryan, Giancarlos, and Emmanuel, three Puerto Rican children who live among the most marginalized families in the United States. This is the story of their coming-of-age, which is beset by violence―the violence of homelessness, hunger, incarceration, stray bullets, sexual and physical assault, the hypermasculine logic of the streets, and the drug trade. In Kensington, eighteenth birthdays are not rites of passage but statistical miracles.

One mistake drives Ryan out of middle school and into the juvenile justice pipeline. For Emmanuel, his queerness means his mother’s rejection and sleeping in shelters. School closures and budget cuts inspire Giancarlos to lead walkouts, which get him kicked out of the system. Although all three are high school dropouts, they are on a quest to defy their fate and their neighborhood and get high school diplomas.

In a triumph of empathy and drawing on nearly a decade of reporting, sociologist and policymaker Nikhil Goyal follows Ryan, Giancarlos, and Emmanuel on their mission, plunging deep into their lives as they strive to resist their designated place in the social hierarchy. In the process, Live to See the Day confronts a new age of American poverty, after the end of “welfare as we know it,” after “zero tolerance” in schools criminalized a generation of students, after the odds of making it out are ever slighter.

“An incisive, compassionate description of families in a crisis not of their making, and the policy choices our country could choose to make to save their lives.” —Heather McGhee, bestselling author of The Sum of Us

"In this impassioned, riveting feat of reporting, Nikhil Goyal follows three extraordinary children who climb mountains every day to defy the hand that America dealt them. If we did not already know that children cannot learn well when they are hungry, homeless, and criminalized, this book will leave us in no doubt. At once uplifting and enraging, this eloquent indictment just might move those with power to make real changes, to ensure that all of our children can live to see the day."  — Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (D-NY)


Nikhil Goyal is a sociologist and policymaker who served as senior policy advisor on education and children for Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Committee on the Budget. He developed education, childcare, and child tax credit federal legislation as well as a tuition-free college program for incarcerated people and correctional workers in Vermont. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, and written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, The Nation, and other publications. Goyal earned his B.A. at Goddard College and M.Phil and Ph.D at the University of Cambridge.  

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 22, 2023 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
Head House Books
619 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Live to See the Day: Coming of Age in American Poverty By Nikhil Goyal Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250850065
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-3 Days
Published: Metropolitan Books - August 22nd, 2023