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Ideas

Megan K. Stack: Women’s Work

In Conversation with ABC Radio's Rebecca Levingston

Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse

Megan K. Stack sits down with ABC Radio’s Rebecca Levingston to discuss her new book, Women’s Work, a stunning memoir of raising her children abroad with the help of Chinese and Indian women.

Stack decided to leave her prestigious job as a foreign correspondent to work from home and look after her baby. As her family grew and her husband’s job took them to China and Delhi, a series of Chinese and Indian women cooked, cleaned and babysat for them.

Stack grew increasingly aware of the brutal realities of these women’s lives: domestic abuse, alcoholism, unplanned pregnancies. Hiring poor women had given her the ability to work while raising her children, but what ethical compromise had she made?

Determined to confront the truth, Stack meet their families and children and turned a journalistic eye on the trade-offs they’d been forced to make. Women’s Work shines a light on the joy, fear and exhaustion of motherhood and causes readers to reflect on their impact on working mothers.

Writers+Ideas is supported by EY and O’Neill Architecture.

Reviews

Stack uses her reporting acumen to illuminate domestic workers' struggles, but also fearlessly reveals the most vulnerable details of her own life in order to make her point. The masterfulness with which she tells these intertwined stories makes this book not just a work of brilliant journalism, but a work of art.

Emily Gould Author

Megan Stack’s mastery of language and attention to detail make magic of the most quotidian aspects of life. But the subject matter here is hardly banal. Stack goes beyond her own experience of motherhood to focus on the Chinese and Indian nannies who helped her raise her children at the expense of their own. She brilliantly dissects the contradictions of motherhood by analyzing how motherly love becomes a commodity in this modern, globalized word.

Barbara Demick Author

Women’s Work is a book of vivid characters, engrossing stories, shrewd insights, and uncomfortable reflections.

Anne-Marie Slaughter Author and President & CEO of New America

More Info

MEGAN K STACK

Megan K. Stack is the author of Every Man in This Village Is a Liar, which was a finalist for America’s 2010 National Book Award and an Australian bestseller. She reported on war for the Los Angeles Times from 22 countries, and was most recently Moscow bureau chief. She was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting.

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