cover image Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education

Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education

Stephanie Land. One Signal, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-1-982151-39-3

Bestseller Land (Maid) catalogs her experiences juggling housecleaning jobs, childcare, and graduate school while battling poverty in this frank and captivating memoir. In lucid prose (“My whole body ached to give her more. She deserved ballet lessons if she wanted them and for someone to show her that it was okay to dream”), Land details the many tightropes she walked to balance her dreams of becoming a writer with what she “needed to do to survive as a single parent who struggled to make ends meet in endless, sometimes impossible ways.” After escaping an abusive relationship in her late 20s, Land moved from Washington State to Missoula, Mont., with her five-year-old daughter to pursue an MFA in writing. In the fall of her final year at the University of Montana, she unexpectedly got pregnant again and decided to keep the baby, to the consternation of the likely father. Land viscerally conjures the relentless grind she faced to obtain governmental aid and increased child support to cover food, heat, car repairs, childcare, and student loans while fighting to keep her daughter happy and her unborn child healthy without sacrificing her own professional dreams. Eye-opening and heartrending, this will provide succor for readers who’ve faced similar hardships and essential education for anyone who hasn’t. It’s another stirring personal history from one of the foremost chroniclers of 21st-century economic anxiety. Agent: Mollie Glick, CAA. (Nov.)