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Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

Nina MacLaughlin



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WW Norton & Co
21 February 2016
Memoirs; Carpentry
While working at a Boston newspaper, Nina MacLaughlin applied for a job as a carpenter's assistant. In Hammer Head she tells the story of becoming a carpenter-the joys and frustrations of making things by hand; the challenges she faced as a woman in an occupation that is 99 per cent male-and how manual labour changed the way she sees the world.
By:   Nina MacLaughlin
Imprint:   WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 211mm,  Width: 142mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   227g
ISBN:   9780393352320
ISBN 10:   0393352323
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   21 February 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nina MacLaughlin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she works as a carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she has written for the Believer, Bookslut, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.

Reviews for Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

Though MacLaughlin may be an apprentice carpenter, she is a master writer, with the rare combination of acute observation and astute word choice that characterizes writers like Annie Dillard or Joan Didion. -- Rebecca Steinitz - Boston Globe Beautiful and wise... Like if Annie Dillard had her own show on HGTV. -- Edan Lepucki - The Millions MacLaughlin has hit the nail on the head... Stunning... You may very well read [Hammer Head] in one sitting. -- Caroline Goldstein - Bustle Inspirational ... will have Wild fans throwing down their backpacks and picking up a hammer. -- Liberty Hardy - Book Riot An effortless blend of literary craft with woodcraft. -- Erin Shea - Library Journal (starred review) Inspiring. -- Time Out, (Critics Pick) Warm, wise, and authentically inspiring. No other book has made me want to re-read Ovid and retile my bathroom floor, nor given me the conviction that I can do both. I loved it. -- Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking with Men In this beautiful memoir about learning a trade, Nina MacLaughlin explores mortality, desire, the passage of time, and the meaning of work. She transcends the personal and makes us question what of our own works are built to endure. This book-a thing well-made-certainly is. -- Philip Connors, author of Fire Season Nina MacLaughlin built a dream by becoming a carpenter, and transformed her life. Hammer Head is her exquisitely inspiring story. I loved it. -- Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica

  • Short-listed for New England Society Book Award 2016

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