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Tunnel People
Tunnel People

Tunnel People


320 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

Publication Date: September 2010

ISBN 9781604860702

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

PM Press (Sep 2010)


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An award-winning photojournalist's view of American homelessness

Following the homeless Manhattanites who, in the mid-1990s, chose to start a new life in the tunnel systems of the city, this record tells the stories of a variety of tunnel dwellers from the perspective of an award-winning, European photojournalist who lived and worked with them for 5 months. Photographs and personal accounts detail the struggles and pleasures—including the government’s eviction of the tunnel people and Amtrak’s offering them alternative housing—of Vietnam veterans, macrobiotic hippies, crack addicts, Cuban refugees, convicted killers, computer programmers, philosophical recluses, and criminal runaways. Humorous and compassionate, it also describes what has happened to these individuals 13 years since they’ve left.


"Voeten has found yet another frontier in the great American experiment—the one underground, in the tunnels of Manhattan—and deliver[s] it to us in an utterly charming and fascinating account,' says Sebastian Junger." —Publishers Weekly

"Voeten’s book captivates readers with its compassionate portraits of the people and their surroundings, while exploring the surprisingly varied reasons why these men and women wound up living just beneath the surface of the reader’s world." —Booklist

"Tunnel People is a social documentary project, in the tradition of Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Live and Dorothea Lange's American Exodus. It exposes us to people in straitened circumstances and advocates for their relief." —Wall Street Journal

“Voeten is no doubt one of the most adventurous reporters in the Netherlands.” —Vrij Nederland Magazine

"Teun Voeten has found a way to show us the tunnel people not by their statistical trademarks—drug addiction, alcoholism, crime, and AIDS—but rather through their humanity, their talents, their extraordinary attitudes of good humor and hope." —[tk] reviews

"Voeten resists the temptation to sensationalize and romanticize the underground tunnel people. Nor is his book sentimental . . . [it is a] sober and well-written report about the mean misery underground: That makes this book so powerful." —Volkskrant

"Tunnel People is a supreme example of participatory observation. The insider's point of view comes here to full light in a brilliant way. It is not an objective case-study, but a subjective, journalistic reportage, right to the point of an incredible, dynamic, human underworld that is nowhere being sensationalized nor romanticized by Voeten." —Passage

"Dutch photographer and journalist Voeten documents two years of work with the men and women who lived underground in a New York City train tunnel. . . . A vivid and accessible account." —CHOICE

Author Biography

Teun Voeten is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has been published in National Geographic, Newsweek, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. He is the author of How De Body? One Man’s Terrifying Journey Through an African War and A Ticket To and a contributing photographer for many organizations, including Doctors without Borders, Human Rights Watch, the International Red Cross, and the United Nations.