“My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.”
In the tradition of bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Evicted, Stephanie Land—a writing fellow for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project (EHRP) and Center for Community Change (CCC)—writes a compassionate, unflinching account of her years scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet. In Maid, we enter Stephanie Land’s world and that of domestic workers who are paid far less than their needs.
As a single mother, Stephanie scrubbed the toilets of the wealthy and lived in a dank studio with her daughter. Her journey is one of resilience and grit as she hops from home to home and survives on meager wages and public assistance. Maid is a deep dive into the gut-wrenching truth of both the secret underbelly of middle class America, and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. Barbara Ehrenreich writes, “Stephanie Land has something to teach us about both sides of the inequality divide. Neither is what you are expecting.”
Written in raw, masterful, heart-rending prose, Maid is the story of one woman’s tenacity to survive and break free of the grips of the system to give her child a better life. Stephanie Land’s work gives voice to the working poor. Her compassionate, unflinching writing is fueled by her own struggle as a low-income single mother who aspired to use her stories to expose the reality of pursuing the American Dream while being held under the poverty line.
Stephanie Land‘s work has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Vox, Salon, and many other outlets. She lives in Missoula, Montana.