Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter


Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

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.


MacLaughlin...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"
Reading Hammer Head, like consuming Cheryl Strayed's Wild, feels like a crucial education.--Isabella Biedenharn "Entertainment Weekly"
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.--Caroline Goldstein "Bustle"
An inspirational account of [MacLaughlin's] journey to becoming a carpenter, and the lessons she's learned about life. It will have Wild fans throwing down their backpacks and picking up a hammer.--Liberty Hardy "Book Riot"
Riveting...MacLaughlin weaves together layers of history and literature that lift her memoir beyond a personal narrative and into one of all human knowledge.--Tiffany Gibert "Time Out New York"
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
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. I loved it from beginning to end.--Philip Connors, author of Fire Season
MacLaughlin's evocative prose is just as plumb, level, and true as all the wood structures she ultimately learns to build. This is a lovely and important book.--Andre Dubus III