xiv, 270 pages ; 24 cm
The cabin -- The camper -- Transitional housing -- The Fairgrounds apartment -- Seven different kinds of government assistance -- The farm -- The last job on earth -- The porn house -- The move-out clean -- Henry's house -- The studio -- Minimalist -- Wendy's house -- The plant house -- The chef's house -- Donna's house -- In three years -- The sad house -- Lori's house -- "I don't know how you do it" -- The clown house -- Still life with Mia -- Do better -- The bay house -- The hardest worker -- The hoarder house -- We're home.
At 28, Stephanie Land's dreams -- breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest, attending a university, and becoming a writer -- were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, working days and taking college classes online. She also began to write relentlessly. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. Her memoir explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives -- their sadness and love, too -- she begins to find hope in her own path.
Ehrenreich, Barbara, writer of foreword.
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