Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Maid

Maid

Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land’s memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of 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, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and 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.

Maid 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.

Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the “servant” worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.
Read More

Genre: Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Women

On Sale: January 22nd 2019

Price: $25.98 / $33.98 (CAD)

ISBN-13: 9781478971603

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reader Reviews

Praise

Forbes, Most Anticipated Books of the Year
Glamour, Best Books of the Year
Time, 11 New Books to Read This January
Vulture, 8 New Books You Should Read This January
Thrillist, All the Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2019
USA Today, 5 New Books Not to Miss
Amazon, Best Books of the Month
Detroit News, New Books to Look Forward to in 2019
The Missoulian, Best Books of the Month
San Diego Entertainer, Books to Kick Off Your New Year
People, Perfect for Your Book Club
Boston.com, 20 Books to Look Out for in 2019
Hello Giggles, Best New Books to Read This Week
Read More Arrow Icon
"More than any book in recent memory, Land nails the sheer terror that comes with being poor, the exhausting vigilance of knowing that any misstep or twist of fate will push you deeper into the hole."—The Boston Globe
Read More Arrow Icon
"Stephanie Lands memoir [Maid] is a bracing one."—The Atlantic
Read More Arrow Icon
"An eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor."
People, Perfect for Your Book Club
Read More Arrow Icon
"The particulars of Land's struggle are sobering, but it's the impression of precariousness that is most memorable."—The New Yorker
Read More Arrow Icon
"[Land's] book has the needed quality of reversing the direction of the gaze. Some people who employ domestic labor will read her account. Will they see themselves in her descriptions of her clients? Will they offer their employees the meager respect Land fantasizes about? Land survived the hardship of her years as a maid, her body exhausted and her brain filled with bleak arithmetic, to offer her testimony. It's worth listening to."
New York Times Book Review
Read More Arrow Icon
"What this book does well is illuminate the struggles of poverty and single-motherhood, the unrelenting frustration of having no safety net, the ways in which our society is systemically designed to keep impoverished people mired in poverty, the indignity of poverty by way of unmovable bureaucracy, and people's lousy attitudes toward poor people... Land's prose is vivid and engaging... [A] tightly-focused, well-written memoir... an incredibly worthwhile read."
Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memoir
Read More Arrow Icon
"An eye-opening exploration of poverty in America."—Bustle
Read More Arrow Icon
"Marry the evocative first person narrative of Educated with the kind of social criticism seen in Nickel and Dimed and you'll get a sense of the remarkable book you hold in your hands. In Maid, Stephanie Land, a gifted storyteller with an eye for details you'll never forget, exposes what it's like to exist in America as a single mother, working herself sick cleaning our dirty toilets, one missed paycheck away from destitution. It's a perspective we seldom see represented firsthand-and one we so desperately need right now. Timely, urgent, and unforgettable, this is memoir at its very best."—Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Read More Arrow Icon
"For readers who believe individuals living below the poverty line are lazy and/or intellectually challenged, this memoir is a stark, necessary corrective.... [T]he narrative also offers a powerful argument for increasing government benefits for the working poor during an era when most benefits are being slashed.... An important memoir that should be required reading for anyone who has never struggled with poverty."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Read More Arrow Icon
"Maid provides an important look at the morass of difficulties faced by the working poor."—Elle Magazine
Read More Arrow Icon
"[A] heartfelt and powerful debut memoir.... Land's love for her daughter... shines brightly through the pages of this beautiful, uplifting story of resilience and survival."
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Read More Arrow Icon
"[A] vivid and visceral yet nearly unrelenting memoir... Her journey offers an illuminating read that should inspire outrage, hope, and change."—Library Journal
Read More Arrow Icon
"Raw...Land [is] a gifted storyteller...Offers moments of levity...[Maid] shows we need to create an economy in which single motherhood and the risk of poverty do not go hand in hand."—Ms. Magazine
Read More Arrow Icon
"A heartfelt memoir."
Harvard Business Review
Read More Arrow Icon
"Maid delves into her time working for the upper middle class in the service industry, and in it, uncovers the true strength of the human spirit."—San Diego Entertainer, Books to Kick Off Your New Year
Read More Arrow Icon
"In writing about the spaces outside of her work, though, Land gives shape to the depleting anxiety and isolation that accompany motherhood in poverty for millions of Americans."—The Nation
Read More Arrow Icon
"[An] example of the determination and grace [is] on display in her memoir, in which she renders vividly the back-breaking and often surreal work of deep-cleaning strangers' homes while navigating the baffling bureaucracies of government assistance programs."—Salon
Read More Arrow Icon
"The book, with its unfussy prose and clear voice, holds you. It's one woman's story of inching out of the dirt and how the middle class turns a blind eye to the poverty lurking just a few rungs below -- and it's one worth reading."—The Washington Post
Read More Arrow Icon
"It is with beautiful prose that Land chronicles her time working as a housekeeper to make ends meet...Captur[es] the experience of hardworking Americans who make little money and are often invisible to their employers."—Boston.com, 20 Books to Read in 2019
Read More Arrow Icon
"Fascinating...Communicates clearly the challenges of a marginal existence as a single mother living in poverty as she sought to provide a stable and predictable home for her daughter in a situation that was anything but stable and predictable."—The Columbus Dispatch
Read More Arrow Icon
"Takes readers inside the gritty, unglamorous life of the underpaid, overworked people who serve the upper-middle class for a living."—Parade
Read More Arrow Icon
"Stephanie Land strips class divisions bare in her phenomenal memoir Maid, providing a profoundly important expose on the economy of being a single mother in America. This is the warrior cry from the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, reminding us to change our lives and remember how to see each other. Standing ovation. Not since Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed has the working woman's real life been so honestly illuminated."—Lidia Yuknavich, author of The Book of Joan
Read More Arrow Icon
"In a country whose frayed safety net gets less policy attention than the marginal tax rate, Land is the anomaly not only in surviving to tell the tale - and in telling it with such compelling economy."—Vulture, 8 New Books You Should Read this January
Read More Arrow Icon
"Land's memoir forces readers to examine their implicit judgments about what we mean by the value of hard work in America and societal expectations of motherhood."—Electric Lit
Read More Arrow Icon
"Honest, unapologetic, and beautifully written."—Hello Giggles
Read More Arrow Icon
"Tells an honest story many are too afraid to examine."—SheKnows.com
Read More Arrow Icon
"A moving, intimate, essential account of life in poverty."
Entertainment Weekly, Must List
Read More Arrow Icon
"The next time you hear someone say they think poor people are lazy, hand them a copy of Maid."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Read More Arrow Icon
"Stephanie Land's heartrending book, Maid, provides a trenchant reminder that something is amiss with the American Dream and gives voice to the millions of 'working poor' toiling in a country that needs them but doesn't want to see them. A sad and hopeful tale of being on the outside looking in, the author makes us wonder how'd we fare scrubbing and vacuuming away the detritus of an affluence that always seems beyond reach."—Steve Dublanica, New York Times bestselling author of Waiter Rant
Read More Arrow Icon
"In a perfect world, Maid would become required reading in schools across the country."—North Bay Bohemian
Read More Arrow Icon
"As a solo mom and former house cleaner, this brave book resonated with me on a very deep level. We live in a world where the solo mother is an incomplete story: adrift in the world without a partner, without support, without a grounding, centering (male) force. But women have been doing this since the dawn of time, and Stephanie Land is one of millions of solo moms forced to get blood from stone. She is at once an old and new kind of American hero. This memoir of resilience and love has never been more necessary."—Domenica Ruta, New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You
Read More Arrow Icon
"A fun read."—South Platte Sentinel
Read More Arrow Icon
"Maid is a testament to a young mother's survival skills - a constantly shifting balance of back-breaking labor, single-parenting responsibilities, complying with rules and regulations, college course-work, attitude adjustments and diplomacy on all fronts... The book is a gift of hope and joy for anyone lucky enough to see beyond blame."—Wicked Local
Read More Arrow Icon
"It's as much a story about resilience as it is a hard look at current systems in place to help impoverished people and how hard they are to navigate. It's eye-opening and inspiring--a definite must-read!"—Style Blueprint
Read More Arrow Icon
"If this memoir doesn't shake you up and give you a stronger understanding of poverty in America, your heart must be made of coal. Stephanie Land, who spent years in poverty, clues you in to what it's really like to live in a shelter. It's hard to think that a white paper or TV documentary could say it as well as she does."—Florida Times-Union
Read More Arrow Icon
"Maid is an important work of journalism that offers an insightful and unique perspective on a segment of the working poor from someone who has lived it."—Amazon Book Review
Read More Arrow Icon
"I loved this story about one woman surviving impossible circumstances."—Reese Witherspoon
Read More Arrow Icon