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News Release — April 8, 2010

Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers

The Wittliff Collections present Dick Reavis reading from his new book,

Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers

Reavis to read at the Collections on April 13, 2010

SAN MARCOS, Texas—On Tuesday, April 13, at 4:00 pm, the Wittliff Collections present journalist, activist and professor, Dick J. Reavis reading from his latest book, Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers, from Simon & Schuster. The Collections are located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be for sale by the University Bookstore.

In the tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, Catching Out describes how Reavis reported to a labor hall each morning, hoping to “catch out,” or get job assignments. Reavis, the author of The Ashes of Waco and Without Documents, joined day laborers at manual jobs in an effort to supplement his retirement income.

Written with the flair of a gifted portraitist and storyteller, Catching Out describes Reavis’s jobs as a construction worker, landscaper, road crew flagman, and other gritty and dangerous occupations available to those on the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Publishers Weekly praised Catching Out, noting: “Reavis allows his colleagues—hard drinkers like Real Deal, shirkers like Tommy, softies like Office Skills, and hard workers like Sung—to take center stage in his tales, which run the gamut from humorous to heartrending. This ability to bring the small successes, daily struggles, and measured dreams of these ‘down-at-heels’ working stiffs makes the book’s final chapter, in which Reavis outlines the legal and economic reforms needed to help day laborers get fair wages and treatment, overwhelmingly persuasive.”

Reavis’ major papers are held at the Wittliff’s Southwestern Writers Collection.

A digital archive of Reavis's Ashes of Waco materials is online.

Reading by Dick J. Reavis

Tuesday, April 13, 4:00 pm
Alkek Library, Seventh Floor | Texas State University-San Marcos | 512.245.2313
Admission is free and open to the public.