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Women's Work


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About the Author

Megan K. Stack is the author of Every Man in This Village Is a Liar, which was a finalist for America's 2010 National Book Award and an Australian bestseller. She reported on war for the Los Angeles Times from dozens of countries, and was most recently Moscow bureau chief. She was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting.


'Every woman who has experienced the conflicts of motherhood, or is contemplating them, should be grateful for her unflinching addition to the contemporary literature on the subject.'

-- Stephanie Merritt * The Observer *

'Megan Stack is willing to confront hard questions that so many of us flinch from: the relationships between women and the women we hire to take care of our houses and our children, to do the traditional women's work that gives "liberated women" the time to do traditional men's work. Women's Work is a book of vivid characters, engrossing stories, shrewd insights, and uncomfortable reflections.'

-- Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America, and author of Unfinished Business

'Women's Work is an incredible follow-up to Megan Stack's celebrated book of war reportage, Every Man in This Village Is a Liar. It is a fierce and furious and darkly funny book about the costs of motherhood: the psychological costs, the costs in time and energy and spirit, and finally the costs imposed on other women, most of them also mothers, who leave their own children so they can take care of ours. I can't think of a work that speaks more directly to our age of increasing inequality, starting with housework and child care, the oldest inequalities of all.'

-- Keith Gessen, author of A Terrible Country

'It's gripping ... admirably honest ... a clear-eyed microcosm.'

-- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * The Oldie *

'Women's Work hit me where I live, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The discomforting truths Stack reveals about caretaking and labor transcend cultural and national boundaries; this book is relevant to everyone, no matter how or where they live. Stack uses her reporting acumen to illuminate domestic workers' struggles, but also fearlessly reveals the most vulnerable details of her own life in order to make her point. The masterfulness with which she tells these intertwined stories makes this book not just a work of brilliant journalism but a work of art.'

-- Emily Gould, author of Friendship: A Novel and And the Heart Says Whatever.

'A self-critical and heartfelt narrative ... beautifully written, informative, and sometimes harrowing as she recounts the joy, fear, and exhaustion of becoming a mother. What women - and men - can learn from Stack's story is that "women's work", in all of its complexity and construction, should not be only for women.' STARRED REVIEW * Kirkus *

'If Karl Ove Knausgaard himself were a woman and had given birth, he might have written a book a little like Women's Work. Megan Stack's mastery of language and attention to detail make magic of the most quotidian aspects of life. But the subject matter here is hardly banal. Stack goes beyond her own experience of motherhood to focus on the Chinese and Indian nannies who helped her raise her children at the expense of their own. She brilliantly dissects the contradictions of motherhood by analyzing how motherly love becomes a commodity in this modern, globalized word.'

-- Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

'Megan Stack obliterates the silence that upholds one of our greatest taboos: our universal reliance on domestic labor that women - women of colour especially - are expected to supply freely or cheaply. With journalistic rigor, Stack centres the complicated lives of women who clean our homes and care for our children, but it's her willingness to shine a light into the dark, typically untouched corners of her own family, privilege, and ambition that makes this book soar.'

-- Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother

'Memoirs about motherhood are exceedingly common, but Women's Work dares to explore the labor arrangements that often make such books possible ... Stack writes sharp, pointed sentences that flash with dark insight ... ruthlessly self-aware [and] fearless.'

-- Jennifer Szalai * New York Times *

'Stack writes, unflinchingly, about what it was like for her world to shrink and her life to entwine with the lives of her hired help - who left their own kids behind in order to work in her home ... Stack's writing is sharp and lovely, especially in the first section of the book as she deftly describes her plunge into new motherhood and year-long journey to find herself again.'

-- Erica Pearson * Minneapolis Star Tribune *

'Stack truly becomes aware of the hardships facing the women she employs: alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty. She delves into their stories with searing honesty and self-reflection ... Women's Work is a brave book, an unflinching examination of privilege and the tradeoffs all women make in the name of family.'

-- Amy Scribner * BookPage *

'Stack's engaging style will have women everywhere nodding in recognition.' FIVE STARS -- Robyn Douglas * Adelaide Advertiser *

'Stack, who had stints in Jerusalem, Cairo, Moscow and Beijing for the Los Angeles Times, is a natural storyteller with an eye for detail ... This is a painfully honest investigation of what kind of compromises women make by hiring other women to do the grunt work ... Stack confronts a reality that many try not to think about: Who are the women who care for my children and clean my house? ... a double-edged indictment: of those, including Stack, who exploit domestic helpers in their desire to remain relevant in work but also of the men who abdicate responsibility ... In an unflinching way, Stack pulls the curtain back on the truths of women's lives, especially the domestic part: how women make it work.'

-- Debra Bruno * The Washington Post *

'Stack is admirably honest about her reactions and responses. Her prose is often a joy to read: sharp and full of insight.'

-- Henrietta McKervey * The Irish Times *
Praise for Every Man in This Village is a Liar:

'Every Man in This Village is a Liar is a courageous report from the front lines of the hostilities between the West and the Muslim world. Journalist Megan Stack sheds the customary pretenses of her profession to show us - with blistering eloquence and her own raw nerves laid bare - war's impact on the non-combatants who bear the brunt of its horrors. You'll be thinking about this book long after you turn the final page. I hope it finds a wide audience. My congratulations to Ms. Stack.'

* Jon Krakauer, author of Where Men Win Glory *
Praise for Every Man in This Village is a Liar:

'[Stack's] soaring imagery sears itself into the brain, in acute and accurate tales that should never be forgotten by the wider world, and yet always are ... Anyone wishing to understand the Middle East need only look into the faces of war that Stack renders with exceptional humanity - the bombers as well as the bureaucrats, the rebels and the refugees, the victors and the victims.' STARRED REVIEW * Booklist *
Praise for Every Man in This Village is a Liar:

'Every Man in this Village is a Liar is an electrifying book by an extraordinary foreign correspondent. Megan Stack has braved the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, decoded the secrets of Israel and Egypt. She shows us what war and terror have done to humanity in the 21st century. Read it if you have the courage to care about your country, its allies and its enemies.'

* Tim Weiner, author of Legacy of Ashes *

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