The final frontier — Manhattan!
My book, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” was published April 2011 in hardcover and July 2012 in paperback, but my first-ever event in New York City is November 14, presenting with three other authors at a mediabistro evening.
I’m glad to finally have a chance to present the book in NYC, as it’s virtually impossible to get a bookstore or other event there unless you’re a Big Celebrity; 100 authors (!) asked to be chosen for this event, so those odds give you some idea what we’re up against!
228 Third Avenue, between 19th and 20th.
6:30 to 8:30p.m.
Few Broadside readers live close enough to stop by, but if you do, I hope you’ll come out!
I’ve been doing a lot of public events in the past few months: The Decatur, Georgia Literary Festival; speaking to 200 retail students and retailers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; speaking locally to two women’s clubs.
I love meeting readers and potential readers. We all shop and many of us have worked, or are working, in retail, so it’s a subject we can all easily relate to. Retail and foodservice, part-time jobs with no benefits and very low wages, are the two largest sources of new jobs in the U.S.’s still-struggling economy.
“Malled” offers several important stories:
It’s my own story of losing a well-paid staff job, at the New York Daily News, in July 2006 — returning to freelancing — and watching my income plummet to barely one-quarter of my former salary, like many people in the recession.
It’s the story of what it’s like to, even part-time, shift careers from a respected and intellectually-challenging role as a writer to a low-wage hourly worker whose every move is captured on security cameras.
It’s the story of dozens of retail associates around the country, some earning excellent money on commission to a woman in her 50s, with a shiny new master’s degree, making $7.25/hour at a department store in North Carolina.
It’s also the story of how a global supply chain puts workers’ lives and health at risk, like the 30,000 workers in Shenzhen, China who make electronics for Apple, Nokia, Samsung and others; as I was writing the book, 17 workers at Foxconn committed suicide, so appalling were their pay and working conditions; this link is to Wired magazine.
On Black Friday, 2008, on Long Island, a worker who opened the doors to impatient shoppers was trampled to death. His story is in “Malled” as well.
If you buy a print version and would like me to sign it to you or someone else as a gift, email me and I can share my mailing address; it’s also available as an e-book, of course.
I’d really appreciate it if you’d help spread the word about this the event and the book — blogging, Facebook, Tweets. We also have a Malled FB page with timely, updated retail-related stories.