Stephanie Land

Author of the best-selling debut memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, which was adapted to hit Netflix series by the same name.

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Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

March 8, 2023

Stephanie Land’s bestselling debut memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive recounts her harrowing saga as a single mom navigating the poverty trap. Her unflinching testimony exposes the physical, economic, and social brutality that domestic workers face, all while radiating a parent’s hope and resilience.

Stephanie’s memoir offers a unique and essential perspective from the frontlines of struggle, but the deeply personal, intimate details of her story paint a larger picture. The physical pain of her own poverty–like the mold in her apartment, and the “constant burn” and “shooting pain” from cleaning houses–clarifies systemic class inequalities, dispelling the myth that poor people are responsible for their own predicament and just need to try harder. Instead, she reveals the real culprits of her situation: domestic violence, untenable minimum wages, high housing costs, and government assistance programs that fail the people they ostensibly serve.

After years of barely scraping by, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Montana in 2014, and started a career as a freelance writer. Her viral essay for Vox, “I spent 2 years cleaning houses. What I saw makes me never want to be rich.”, later was expanded to become the New York Times bestselling memoir. The Boston Globe says of the book, “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.” Maid was named as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others, and was listed among President Obama’s summer reading list for 2019.

Land’s story serves as the inspiration for Netflix’s Golden Globe Award-nominated original series Maid, one of Netflix’s most watched series ever with over 469 million hours viewed that have reached over 67 million households in its first month.

Stephanie is at work on her next book, Class, about the hard truths surrounding college education in America including high costs, predatory practices, and discriminatory policies. Stephanie has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and The New York Review of Books, among many other outlets. A writing fellow at the Center for Community Change, Stephanie has worked with Barbara Ehrenreich at the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

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