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McClelland & Stewart, Spring 2019

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Dirty Work
My Gruelling, Glorious, Life-changing Summer In the Wilderness
By (author): Anna Maxymiw
9780771061462 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs May 07, 2019
$24.95 CAD
Active 5.74 x 8.24 x 0.78 in 288 pages McClelland & Stewart
Lands of Lost Borders meets The Electric Woman in this vibrant coming-of-age memoir about a young woman’s fierce, filthy, exhausting, and joyous experience working at a wilderness lodge.

When Anna Maxymiw accepts a summer job as a housekeeper at a fishing lodge in Northern Ontario, she has little idea what to expect. At twenty-three, she has decided to step away from her master’s degree and city life to board a floatplane bound for the remote boreal forest.

For sixty-seven days, Anna will be working and living alongside twelve strangers. Together this group of young men and women will keep the lodge running. While the fishing guides head out on the water with the fishermen who are the lodge’s guests, the women stay on land to clean and serve. Against the backdrop of a vast lake, wild storms, and hot days and eerily still nights, Anna encounters bears, bugs, and the lore surrounding the lake’s legendary pike. As the summer progresses, complex (and sometimes fraught) bonds form between the men and women who work at the lodge, the ownership of the lodge changes hands, and tensions build. And Anna notices a shift in her outlook, too: she finds herself letting go of fears and insecurities and welcoming surprises and possibilities, both good and bad, with a willingness to be changed by them.

Warm, funny, vulnerable, and wise, Dirty Work offers a singular perspective on the age-old impulse to leave familiar surroundings behind. This memoir is for anyone who has ever felt the urge to test themselves and wondered how they’d fare and who they’d be when they come out on the other side.

Story Locale: Northern Ontario

FOR FANS OF CONFESSIONAL MEMOIR: And young writers like Patricia Lockwood who tackle deeply personal, relatable material that comes from their own experiences of early adulthood. Like Lockwood, Maxymiw’s ear for dialogue is incredible, and her voice is intimate, and engaging, and she writes with rare insight and clarity that will force readers to consider their own experiences anew.

OPPORTUNTY TO REACH BEYOND ONE DEMOGRAPHIC: This honest, unglamorous look at what it’s like to work in a wilderness lodge is perfect for millennial readers, a phase of life where a summer of work away is a present reality. But there’s also opportunity to reach beyond that readership because this book will be deeply relatable for those in their thirties and up—in particular, it’s a book for people who have fond memories of a “summer away” when they were younger, whether it’s tree-planting or working as a camp counsellor.

EXQUISITE WRITING ABOUT THE NATURAL WORLD: This book is for readers of Kate Harris’s Lands of Lost Borders and Kathleen Winter’s Boundless and any reader who appreciates vivid, beautiful descriptions of the natural world.

M&S’S ENERGETIC, TALENTED YOUNG NON-FICTION WRITERS: Anna Maxymiw is one of a handful of dynamic new writers. She’s very well connected, savvy, and will be a strong promoter of her work on social media and everywhere else.

ANNA MAXYMIW’s writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Hazlitt, and Maisonneuve, and has won a National Magazine Award. She lives in Toronto.

Author Residence: Toronto

Author Hometown: Toronto

Marketing: - influencer outreach

- early giveaways

- social advertising

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter: @maxymiw / Instagram: @maxymiw

Advance praise for Anna Maxymiw and The Lodge:

With vivid, lyrical prose, and sparkling storytelling, Maxymiw takes readers deep into the boreal forest and far out of their comfort zones—something they’ll certainly be thankful for. At times humorous and heartfelt, and at others harrowing and humiliating, The Lodge is a fresh look at resiliency, camaraderie, and the enduring beauty of the wild, told by a passionate new voice in Canadian literature."—Stacey May Fowles

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