A short story by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio in Archipelago:

Jmg_le_clezio1 The Frenchmen’s Pier was not really a town because there were no houses or streets, only shacks made of plywood, tarpaper or dirt. Perhaps it got its name from the fact that it was inhabited by Italians, Slavs, Turks, Portuguese, Algerians, Africans, stone masons, laborers and peasants who weren’t sure of finding work and who never knew if they would be staying for one year or just two days. They arrived at the Pier, near the swamps that bordered the estuary, found shelter wherever they could, and built their huts in just a few hours. The ones who were leaving sold them wood planks so old and with so many holes in them you could see right through them. They used plywood for the roof too, and large sheets of tarpaper or if they were lucky enough to find it, pieces of corrugated iron held together with wire or stones. They used old rags to fill in the holes.

This is where Alia lived, west of the Pier, near Martin’s house. She arrived there at the same time he did, early on when there were only about ten shacks, and the still soft ground was covered with large grassy fields and reeds near the edge of the swamp. Her father and brother had died in an accident when she was still too young to do much else but play with other children. Her aunt had taken her in. Now, four years later, the Pier had gotten larger. The estuary’s left bank was covered with hundreds of dirt paths and so many shacks that it was impossible to count them. Every week, truckloads of new families arrived at the Pier and others left. When going to the pump for water or buying rice or sardines at the co-op, Alia would stop to look at the new arrivals searching for any place left to set up camp. Sometimes the police would come to the Pier to keep an eye on things or keep track of who was coming and going.

More here.