On the Line: A Story of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women's Epic Fight to Build a Union

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Product Details
$27.95  $25.99
Algonquin Books
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.2 X 1.2 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
Daisy Pitkin has spent more than twenty years as a community and union organizer, working first in support of garment workers around the world, and then for U.S. labor unions organizing industrial laundry workers. Her essays have been awarded the Montana Prize, the DISQUIET Literary Prize, the New Millennium Award, and the Monique Wittig Writer's Scholarship. She grew up in rural Ohio and received an MFA from the University of Arizona. Pitkin lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she works as an organizer with an offshoot of the union UNITE. Find her at daisypitkin.net.
"I started reading and couldn't stop. In an age of unchecked corporate power, On the Line is a timely and lyrical story of resistance, a behind-the-scenes portrait of labor organizing with all its hope and heartache. Candid, clear-eyed and utterly engrossing, Pitkin's writing couldn't come at a better--or more necessary--time."
--Jessica Bruder, New York Times bestselling author of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

"Compelling. In this stirring debut, Daisy Pitkin deftly renders the intimate work of union organizing, demystifying the process as she takes care to ensure the focus remains on the workers themselves. Ultimately, On the Line is a ringing endorsement for the power of a union, and an essential read for anyone who's ever been inspired to fight for a better world."
--Kim Kelly, labor journalist and author of Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

"It is hard to imagine a more humanizing portrait of the American labor movement. Rendered with lyric, incandescent prose, On the Line is both deeply personal and profoundly political, with an acute sense for the ebb and flow of history. With this remarkable debut, Pitkin has given us a riveting and intimate meditation on power, class consciousness, and the true meaning of solidarity."
--Francisco Cantú, New York Times bestselling author of The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

"An intimate and moving account . . . Enriched by Pitkin's sharp character sketches and sincere grappling with issues of class, race and privilege, this is a bracing look at the challenges facing American workers."
--Publishers Weekly

"Intimate and touching . . . A much-needed spotlight on the daily struggles of a vulnerable population."
--Kirkus Reviews

"With vulnerability and complexity, Daisy Pitkin delivers a beautifully written cultural critique and memoir about labor organizing and labor history, resistance and surrender, the unbalanced landscape between herself and the laborers she represents, but mainly, it's about love. On The Line is underscored by an obsession with moths, creatures--like herself--that are beckoned by flames that ultimately harm them. Pitkin is a companionable force you want on your side of any fight."
--Kerri Arsenault, author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains

"A riveting, elegant, and intimate masterpiece. On the Line passed the great book test for me when I set it down for the last time and marveled and grieved in its beauty and sorrow, while understanding that my view of the world had changed."
--Todd Miller, author of Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security

"A stunning, luminous debut about what drives people to rise up for change. Pitkin tells a captivating personal story, as well as an essential cultural one, unveiling the cruelty and injustice of industrial laundries, the erosion of the right to organize, and the hard-won persistence of women who have fought for nearly a hundred years for safety and justice in the workplace."
--Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of A Woven World

"Brilliant, evocative. Pitkin's journey through the trenches of the American class war is at once personal and universal, devastating and hopeful, raw and elegant. I am grateful that she chose to share it with us. I am awed that she wrote it so beautifully."
--David Hill, Vice President, National Writers Union, and author of The Vapors