Sunday, March 17, 2013

Literary Journalism on Women at Work: A Too-Short List

Today I'm looking for literary journalism, or creative nonfiction, or lyric essays -- or mutant journalism -- on women at work. I'd like to add some of these pieces to a syllabus for a creative nonfiction course I teach at Dartmouth College called "Whose Story Is It?" For one section of the course, I want writing about ordinary people writing. Not memoir; writers going out into the world and trying to account for what they find. What they tend to find, when it comes to work, is men. There are notable exceptions, but not enough. So I'm making a list. It's very short so far. What can you add?

Katherine Boo, "Swamp Nurse"

Katherine Boo, "The Churn" (factory worker)

Leslie T. Chang, Factory Girls

Edwin Dobbs, "The New Oil Landscape" (dirty water hauler)

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed

Wendy Ewald, Magic Eyes

Sonia Faleiro, Beautiful Thing (bar dancer)

Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men (hoodoo practitioner)

Sarah Jaffe, "Trickle-Down Feminism" (valuable critical essay on work)

Tracy Kidder, Among Schoolchildren (teacher)

Jeanne Marie Laskas, "Joy Ride" (truckers)

Jeanne Marie Laskas, "G-L-O-R-Y!" (NFL cheerleaders)

Sarah Leonard, "She Can't Sleep No More" (Silicon Valley)

Mac McLelland, "I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave" 

Tracie McMillan, The American Way of Eating

John McPhee, "Travels in Georgia" (biologist)

Susan Orlean, "The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup"

Jeff Sharlet, "The Rapture" (new age healer)

Jeff Sharlet & Peter Manseau, "Crestone, Colorado" (witch)

Diane Simon, Hair

Maureen Stanton, "Good Guys" (nuclear plant painter)

Sallie Tisdale, "We Do Abortions Here"