Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures

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Plume, Apr 30, 1999 - Social Science - 208 pages
After earning an M.A. in Comparative Literature, Louise Rafkin, facing a career choice, took the road less traveled. She became a housecleaner. The money was better than teaching, the lifestyle intriguing for someone with an insatiable curiosity about her fellow human beings. And while she quickly became an expert on the best vacuum cleaner in the world--and the most efficient paper towels--she also saw the unseen parts of people's lives. In this fresh, funny, strikingly original memoir, she talks about her invisible status as a domestic worker in a world of illicit sex and secret livees, of closet alcoholics and binge eaters, unlikely spiritualists and revealing celebrities. In Other People's Dirt, Louise Rafkin reveals something about our values, our society, and ourselves. And, from the detritus of our lives, she gives us something at once delightfully entertaining and profound.

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User Review  - tealightful - LibraryThing

Awful. I thought this would be fun read about a housekeeper's funny anecdotes but it was more akin with rubbing sandpaper on your face. Painfully dry. Read full review

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User Review  - Citizenjoyce - LibraryThing

Louise Rafkin is well educated yet decided to work as a house cleaner for a number of years. The book is snarky and sarcastic and informative, but I had just a few problems with it. She refuses to ... Read full review

Contents

or 409? A Housecleaners Humble Beginnings
1
Heroes of the House
14
The Intimate Lives of Houses
21
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Louise Rafkin's articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Utne Reader, Ladies' Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Phoenix. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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