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edition:eBook
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published: Dec 2012
ISBN:9781894759977
publisher: Caitlin Press

Journeywoman

Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World

by Kate Braid

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personal memoirs, women, women's studies
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $9.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
published: Dec 2012
ISBN:9781894759977
publisher: Caitlin Press
Description

Since women started working in the trades in the 1970s, very little has been published about their experiences. In this provocative and important book, Kate Braid tells the story of how she became a carpenter in the face of skepticism and discouragement.

In 1977 when Braid was broke and out of work, her male friends encouraged her to apply as a labourer on a construction site on Pender Island, off the coast of British Columbia. She’d never heard of a woman doing this kind of work, but she was hired because (she later found out) the boss hoped that a woman onsite would improve the men’s performance. For the next fifteen years Braid worked as a labourer, apprentice and journeywoman carpenter, building houses, bridges and high-rises. She was one of the first qualified women carpenters in British Columbia, the first woman to join the Vancouver local of the Carpenters’ Union, the first to teach construction full-time at the BC Institute of Technology and one of the first women to run her own construction company. Though she loved the work, it was not an easy career choice but slowly she carved a role for herself, asking first herself, then those who would challenge her, why shouldn’t a woman be a carpenter?

Told with humour, compassion and courage, Journeywoman is the true story of a groundbreaking woman finding success in a male-dominated field.

Editorial Review

Your carpentry book was a reflection of my feelings. You were able to explain the aloneness and the pride of being a “carpenteress.” You gave me solace that through sinew and sawdust, the brilliance of building was an addiction not lost to all women … Thank you for the honesty. Morning comes quick when you can’t put a book down.

— Kaitlin Murphy, carpenter

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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World

In this compelling memoir, poet and anthologist Kate Braid, recounts the experiences that led her to become a journeyman carpenter in the construction and renovation industry. Her love for the process and of “making stuff” with the tools and materials and in the settings traditionally inhabited by men, leads to fascinating revelations about modern work, workplaces, and how men and women see each other. Beginning with her reactions to an old-school father, having a go at alternative lifestyles in the 60s and 70s, an inadvertent introduction to construction, and moving on to the challenges of feeding a passion for and developing expertise in carpentry, this narrative is difficult to put down. As she tries to balance an academic life and family life, a carpentry apprenticeship, and active participation in feminist and the union movements, an intriguing story is told.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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