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Biography & Autobiography Women

Best Young Woman Job Book

A Memoir

by (author) Emma Healey

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Women, General, Sexual Abuse & Harassment
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

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Wry, inventive, and relentlessly honest, a memoir of trying to make a living without compromising your truth.

Emma Healey just wants to be a writer, but that’s more a journey than a job, and the journey isn’t free. As a teenager, she begins her adventures in precarious employment when introduced by her actor/playwright mother to the role of “standardized patient,” performing illness as a living training dummy for medical students. In university, she joins a creative writing program, cultivating a poet’s interest in language while learning lessons about the literary world that have more to do with survival than art. Through her twenties, she writes software manuals for the world’s leading producer of online pornography, masters search engine optimization for a marketing firm run out of a bedroom by two Phish-loving brothers, narrowly escapes death as a research assistant for a television drama, and works the night shift captioning daytime TV. Along the way, as she navigates dating apps, tumultuous relationships, and the evolution of a voice that she is slowly learning to trust, she begins writing personal essays for money—and finds herself embroiled in a content economy that blurs the boundaries between day job and making art even further.
Through the stories of several very odd jobs, each related to—but also achingly far from—the job she really wants, poet and essayist Emma Healey creates a unique snapshot of the gig economy that is also a timeless meditation on identity, value, and language.
For a writer trying to pay the bills, life can be a work in progress.

About the author

Emma Healey is a Montreal-based writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of the Incongruous Quarterly, an online literary magazine devoted to the publication of unpublishable literature. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in magazines such as Matrix, Broken Pencil and the Void, and in various online publications including Joyland, Said the Gramophone, Cellstories, and Lemon Hound. Her work has been featured in the anthologies Can'tLit: Fearless Fiction from Broken Pencil Magazine and Gulch: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose. Her poem "The National Research Council Official Time Signal" was published as a limited edition monograph by No Press in 2011. She was the 2010 recipient of the Irving Layton award for poetry, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2011 and 2012.

Emma Healey's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Best Young Woman Job Book
"Emma Healey is working through the tension between the joys of writing for a living and the reality of navigating the gig economy and the world of publishing. But she's doing it with flare and style and an incredibly infuriating amount of skill. This is the kind of book where you'll finish a stretch and pause and think wait, how did she do that, and go back and try to piece it together for yourself." —Elamin Abdelmahmoud, author of Son of Elsewhere

"For a deeper dive into what millennials mean when they talk about making a living in writing. A poetically structured memoir (and we mean that in the best way). . . . In some ways, it's a highly millennial book . . . and in other ways, it’s just a clear window into what work is like now. Perhaps most importantly, it’s also honest and funny." The Tyee
“It’s a truly Millennial tale—self-aware and clever enough to make you forget the depressing circumstances that shaped it.” —Josh O’Kane
“Who suspected a Canadian poet would write the best account of life in the gig economy? . . . Healey’s forthright treatment of the central role money plays in a creative life is enormously refreshing. Instead of hand-waving the financial details that have made her career possible, she molds into her art the work she had to do in order to do the work she wanted. It’s a neat trick.” —Wired
Advance Praise for Best Young Woman Job Book
“A rhythmic, funny, nostalgic and aching memoir about coming into your own and understanding your worth. You’ll see yourself in these pages in the best way possible.” —Scaachi Koul, bestselling author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Best Young Woman Job Book contains all the reasons Emma Healey will always be one of my favorite writers: no one else can break your heart and put it back together on the page like she can.” —Haley Mlotek, writer, editor and organizer

Best Young Woman Job Book is simply brilliant, a perfect encapsulation of everything that makes Emma Healey the force of nature that she is. Equally hilarious and heartbreaking, every page is a revelation.” —Tom Scharpling, bestselling author of It Never Ends

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