Stephanie Land is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, an unflinching account of her years scraping by as a low-income single mother. In “this beautiful, uplifting story of resilience and survival” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Land gives voice to the untold stories of overworked and underpaid Americans who struggle daily for basic needs.
“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
At 28, 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, and then into single motherhood when the father of her infant daughter became violent. 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.
“Land’s prose is vivid and engaging… [A] tightly-focused, well-written memoir… an incredibly worthwhile read.” –Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memoir
Land’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Vox, Salon, and many other outlets. She focuses on social and economic justice as a writing fellow through both the Center for Community Change and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and fights to change stigmas surrounding people in poverty, especially single mothers.