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The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet Paperback – January 21, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The title of Soft Skull's latest Soft Skill book is taken from Charles Bukowski, who said of wage labor: "I couldn't understand the murdering of my years." A struggling activist/artist, Z. found that he was too short on time and money to write an activist's memoir and how-to. Instead, he e-mailed a questionnaire (printed at the end of the book), asking fellow activists and artists how they managed to be active yet survive economically. Each of the sections of the book is created from the responses to a particular question, but one gets the feeling that many activists and artists are quite private about their survival techniques. A.D. Nauman, for one, provides concrete ideas for writers looking for relatively painless work within the mainstream, and for artists who are also mothers, but the section entitled "The Dark Side: Illegal Jobs" is not nearly as juicy as one might hope. The e-mail format creates a tone that is entertaining, conversational and immediate, but also often prolix. Yet for anyone looking for some human company in the long struggle to make a living outside of the corporate structure, this book provides grassroots moral support.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


""I always resented all the years, the hours, the minutes I gave them as a working stiff. It actually hurt my head, my insides, it made me dizzy and a bit crazy. I couldn't understand the murdering of my years."

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Product Details

  • Series: Soft Skill Books Series
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; First Edition edition (January 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887128786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887128780
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 6.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,996,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Group on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
The subtitle of this book is "Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet," and that is exactly what it is about-- people outside the mainstream of the 9to5 existence trying to make a living while not compromising their vision.
The author had e-mailed a number of people with a number of questions about their lives, everything from how they pay the rent to how their life choices affect their sex life. While some of the information is eye-opening and valuable, one soon begins to feel that the scope of the book is a bit too narrow-- only two dozen people offer their viewpoints, and often they are less than candid about various situations. Though there is some important information here for those contemplating charting their own course through life, the main value of this book is reassurance that You Are Not Alone.
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