Item description for Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures by Louise Rafkin...
What started out as a quick way to earn a living became a curious preoccupation with all things clean . . . and messy. Other People's Dirt is an irreverent look at the untidy business of life.
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Studio: Listen & Live Audio
Running Time: 180.00 minutes
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.98" Width: 4.19" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.23 lbs.
Binding Audio Cassette
Release Date Jul 1, 1998
Publisher Listen & Live Audio
ISBN 1885408234 ISBN13 9781885408235
Availability 0 units.
More About Louise Rafkin
While cleaning houses, Louise Rafkin earned her BA in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and her MA in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1981. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including "Ladies' Home Journal", "New York Times Magazine", "Boston Phoenix", "Out", "Women's Review of Books", "Whole Earth Review", and "Poets & Writers". And in recent years, she has received awards and recognition for her writing: the San Francisco Cable Car Award for Best Local Writing in 1989; first place in the San Francisco Bay Guardian fiction competition in 1989; and a Lambda Literary Award in 1991. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Zimtbaum Foundation Fine Arts Work Center, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. Rafkin recently moved from New York to Berkeley, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Other People's Dirt?
No Dirt Here Dec 1, 2006
I'm not sure what this book is supposed to be -- a tell-all? An exploration of the history of cleaning and its place in western culture? A treatise about the underclass? I think part of the problem is that the author herself is not sure where she is, in the metaphysical sense. I couldn't tell why she was a cleaner. If she liked it. Even where she lived! And as far as "other people's dirt," there was precious little here. Not at all what I expected. I was more than a little annoyed at the curious tone the book took towards the idea that those who hire cleaners are somehow exploiting them... Very confusing. I was looking for an author who was going to dish some dirt and instead got an earful about Marxist theory.
Waste of time May 17, 2006
I should have cleaned my house instead of reading this haphazardly written mess.
good clean fun Jul 16, 2005
Entertaining, and easily read in one sitting. It isn't particularly deep or meaningful, but certainly jaunty and fun. Ms. Rafkin has an eye for the absurd. She briefly mentions a book about the history of maids, and more information about that would have made the book more interesting. I liked the tips on what to do if you hire a housecleaner; that's worth the price of the book.
The Real Dirt Apr 19, 2005
This book should be required reading for not only every person in the business of cleaning houses, but also for those who have their houses cleaned. "Other People's Dirt" portrays a truthful, funny, occasionally aggrieved, but always intelligent story of occupation--an occupation often overlooked and stereotyped.
As the owner of a vacation resort, a mom and pop operation where I'm not only the "glamorous" hostess but (on Saturdays) the very unglamorous cleaning woman, I could relate to the tales exposing sometimes surprising (sometimes revolting) lifestyles. While the author seemed to dive into lives of her clients far more than I would ever consider, it's clear she did so with the purpose of studying human nature. To call her "grumpy" or even resentful by exposing these stories in the book, critics fail to see the pure entertainment value of this quick, little read.
On the other hand, I've had weekly cleaning ladies enter my personal home(s) for many, many years. Through Louise Rafkin's book, I have learned how to keep anything truly personal, personal. For example, you bet I strip my own bed lest anyone attempt to get an inside look at my sex life!!!
Particularly because of the controversy and strong reader reactions it has caused, I think this book is a gem and I highly recommend.
Michele Cozzens, author of I'm Living Your Dream Life: The Story of a Northwoods Resort Owner
Do I want to have a maid? Apr 27, 2004
I thought it was very interesting how the author's described what she witnessed, and what evidence she saw of people's lives. The insight she gave into her own life and the lives of other house cleaners was also interesting and insightful. I thought the book ended a little strangely but I have learned that these types of books and their authors often end strangely.