Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures

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9780452280816: Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures

After earning an M.A. in Comparative Literature, Louise Rafkin, facing a career choice, took the road less traveled. She became a housecleaner. The money was better than teaching, the lifestyle intriguing for someone with an insatiable curiosity about her fellow human beings. And while she quickly became an expert on the best vacuum cleaner in the world--and the most efficient paper towels--she also saw the unseen parts of people's lives. In this fresh, funny, strikingly original memoir, she talks about her invisible status as a domestic worker in a world of illicit sex and secret livees, of closet alcoholics and binge eaters, unlikely spiritualists and revealing celebrities. In Other People's Dirt, Louise Rafkin reveals something about our values, our society, and ourselves. And, from the detritus of our lives, she gives us something at once delightfully entertaining and profound.

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Review:

Housecleaner extraordinaire Louise Rafkin reads her own work as efficiently as she cleans bathtubs and snoops through the letter pile. Rafkin's voice is pleasantly modulated and well suited to her dry humor in Other People's Dirt, a parallel tale of her cleaning habits and socio-spiritual explorations. Vacuum-cleaner sound effects demarcate chapters in this nearly unabridged version, whose brief chapters are punchy and well suited to audio. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Barrie Trinkle

About the Author:

Louise Rafkin's articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Utne Reader, Ladies' Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Phoenix. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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