Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class
While many recent books have thoughtfully examined the plight of the working poor in America, none of the authors of these books is able to claim a working-class background, and there are associated methodological and ethical concerns raised when most of the explicatory writing on how poverty affects women and girls is done by educated, upper-class journalists. It was these concerns that prompted indie icon Michelle Tea--whose memoir, The Chelsea Whistle, details her own working-class roots in gritty Chelsea, Massachusetts--to collect these fierce, honest, tender essays written by writers who can't go home to the suburbs when their assignment is over. These wide-ranging essays cover everything from stealing and selling blood to make ends meet; to "jumping" class; how if time equals money, then being poor means waiting; surviving and returning to the ghetto; and how feminine identity is shaped by poverty. Contributors include Dorothy Allison, Diane Di Prima, Terri Griffith, Daisy Hernandez, Frances Varian, Eileen Myles, Shawna Kenney, Siobhan Brooks, Terry Ryan, and more.