Finalist for the 2014 WILLA Award in NF, for Books Written by Women About the West
Dirt Work named to "Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2013" by Shelf Awareness
Dirt Work was a Top Pick for Spring 2013 by Amazon, Christian Science Monitor, and O Magazine
A lively and lyrical account of one woman’s unlikely apprenticeship on a National Park trail crew and what she discovers about nature, gender, and the value of hard work.
"A beguiling journey of self-discovery."
Cover photo by Terry Boyd. Cover design by Gabi Anderson at Beacon Press.
"A beautiful memoir of muscle and metal."
Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"Here is a love story that encompasses wild country, skillful labor, hand tools, crusty workmates, and lingo formal and foul... You'll find plenty to relish here, in a narrative that's gritty, witty, and wise."
--Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Conservationist Manifesto
"A first-rate storyteller, she details the techniques and tools, and the spirit of fellowship and feel of the woods. If you love getting into the back country, or even if you're an armchair backpacker as I am now at age eighty, you'll love Dirt Work.”
--William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky and The Nature of Generosity
"Imbued with a tough-minded, ribald reverence for honest labor that brings to mind a female Gary Snyder or Wendell Berry (if you can imagine that!)"
--David James Duncan, author of The River Why and Sun House
"She means this book as a love song, she writes, and it is, not only from her to her fellow laborers, but from the mind to the body, the hand to the tool, the human to the wild.”
--Sherry Simpson, author of The Accidental Explorer: Wayfinding in Alaska