Stories of Lives at the MarginsAlex Tizon
Edited by Sam Howe Verhovek
Foreword by Jose Antonio Vargas
“Somewhere in the tangle of the subject’s burden and the subject’s desire is your story.”—Alex Tizon
Every human being has an epic story. The late Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Alex Tizon told the epic stories of marginalized people—from lonely immigrants struggling to forge a new American identity to a high school custodian who penned a New Yorker short story. Edited by Tizon’s friend and former colleague Sam Howe Verhovek, Invisible People collects the best of Tizon’s rich, empathetic accounts—including “My Family’s Slave,” the Atlantic magazine cover story about the woman who raised him and his siblings under conditions that amounted to indentured servitude.
In their introductions to Tizon’s pieces, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, Atlantic magazine editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, Pulitzer Prize winners Kim Murphy and Jacqui Banaszynski, and others salute Tizon’s respect for his subjects and the beauty and brilliance of his writing. Invisible People is a loving tribute to a journalist whose search for his own identity prompted him to chronicle the lives of others.
Praise for the hardcover edition:
“(Alex Tizon) is the master of the telling detail that penetrates the surface and makes us understand something or someone—and ultimately ourselves—in a deeper way. Tizon’s beautiful book is as powerful as they come.”
"(B)oth longtime fans and those relatively new to Tizon’s work will come away from this collection with an appreciation for his unquestionable ability to narrate unusual stories in memorable ways."
— Publishers Weekly
“A memorable collection that shows how much journalism lost with the early death of one of its finest.”
“Alex Tizon documented the world’s harshest injustices, including modern slavery and genocide. In particular, he explored the psyche of underdogs who, facing considerable difficulty, mightily continued to fight back. Invisible People is brilliant proof of concept.” —David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
"Tizon’s talent was in seeking out those with stories to tell outside of the mainstream: those who don’t quite fit in, whether because of their race, religion, ethnicity, or lifestyle. Easy answers don’t exist in Invisible People ; each piece leaves the audience a little bit unsettled, wanting more. The collection may focus on those who are invisible, but Tizon’s writing was anything but."
— Foreword Reviews
"This collection provides a series of captivating stories about everyday people and the lives they lead. While echoes of Studs Terkel’s Working reverberate, Tizon’s collection has a broader coverage and masterful style. His method of engaging subjects with incisive questions and deep respect, coupled with his poetic ability to craft vivid descriptions and slowly unfold a narrative, creates relatable stories about people whom you want to know and understand better."