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« Hope Dies Last, by Studs Terkel | Main | The Shame of the Nation, by Jonathan Kozol »


Without a Net, by Michelle Tea

By an everyday book reader
June 1, 2007

This book is filled with heart-felt stories that will anger and sadden you but in the end you feel empowered by these women of all ethnic backgrounds who have one thing in common - strength. These are powerful, real essays from powerful, real women.

They describe how they base their diet on the whims of the local pawnshop, deal with the disrespect and abuse of those paid to help them, and take responsibility for the survival of all who struggle with hard work, low pay, sexism, and the constant awareness that, at present, nearly all doors are closed against them.

Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class
by Michelle TeaBook Picture

Softcover: 256 pages
ISBN: 9781580051033, 1580051030
Seal Press
January 2004

While many recent books have thoughtfully examined the plight of the working poor in America, none of the authors of these books is able to claim a working-class background, and there are associated methodological and ethical concerns raised when most of the explicatory writing on how poverty affects women and girls is done by educated, upper-class journalists. It was these concerns that prompted indie icon Michelle Tea-whose memoir, The Chelsea Whistle, details her own working-class roots in gritty Chelsea, Massachusetts - to collect these fierce, honest, tender essays written by writers who can't go home to the suburbs when their assignment is over.

These wide-ranging essays cover everything from stealing and selling blood to make ends meet; to "jumping" class; how if time equals money, then being poor means waiting; surviving and returning to the ghetto; and how feminine identity is shaped by poverty.

Stoutly gowned, masked and gloved, sociologists and journalists have attempted exploratory surgery many times on the persons and lives of working class and poor women. Here it is the women themselves who explore the lousy housing, malevolent medicine, and societal contempt at the gut of their lives, which they endure without anesthesia.

Contributors include Dorothy Allison, Diane Di Prima, Terri Griffith, Daisy Hernandez, Frances Varian, Eileen Myles, Shawna Kenney, Siobhan Brooks, Terry Ryan, and more.

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This page contains only one entry posted to Everyday Citizen on June 1, 2007 4:48 PM.

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