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Hands: Physical Labor, Class, and Cultural Work

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ISBN-13: 978-0813534350
ISBN-10: 0813534356
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Editorial Reviews


"Zandy takes her subject--the living, writing, and teaching of the American working-class experience--deeply into a regrettably obscure area of cultural studies, one which she is eminently able to treat."

About the Author

Janet Zandy is a professor of language and literature at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of Calling Home: Working-Class Women’s Writing, Liberating Memory: Our Work and Our Working-Class Consciousness, and What We Hold in Common: An Introduction to Working-Class Studies.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (September 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813534356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813534350
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Janet Zandy's "Hands" is a thorough exploration on hands through the lens of "labor".
"Hands are maps to history and culture" the author tells us in her prologue.

Detailed accounts of workers, work hazards, injuries, fatalities, with photos on work sites, many taken by Zandy herself, as she documents and examines lives and labor practices, quoting poets and authors along the way.
Zandy looks at written work from: Audre Lorde, Muriel Rukeyser, Safiya Henderson-Holmes, Marge Piercy,
Pietro DiDonato, and offers this short list of working class novels for consideration:
"Out of This Furnace" Thomas Bell
"Daughter of Earth" Agnes Smedley
"Christ in Concrete" Pietro di Donato
"The Beans of Egypt, Maine" Carolyn Chute
"Bastard Out of Carolina" Dorothy Allison
"Under the Feet of Jesus" Helena Maria Viramonte
"Yonnondio" Tillie Olson

In "Yonnondio" Zandy tells us, "the novel is dominated by the struggle for breath"

There is much to ponder over here. Reading this book is like having a deep talk with one of the most brilliant scholars of our time.


Annie Lanzillotto
author of "L is for Lion: an italian bronx butch freedom memoir" SUNY Press
and "Schistsong" BORDIGHERA Press

L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir (SUNY series in Italian/American Culture)
Schistsong (Via Folios)
...Read more ›
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Hands: Physical Labor, Class, and Cultural Work
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