Join us on Monday, February 21 at 6pm PT when Emily Maloney celebrates her book, Cost of Living, with Alex Marzano-Lesnevich on Zoom!
Praise for Cost of Living
“In Cost of Living, Emily Maloney explores from many perspectives, and with deep empathy, intelligence, and humor the real suffering caused by medical debt and the underpayment of healthcare workers. Like Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed and Atul Gawande's Complications, Maloney's memoir is at once illuminating and alarming. It will leave readers asking: why has no one ever written a book like this before?”
—Suzanne Koven, MD, author of Letter to a Young Female Physician
“Emily Maloney’s Cost of Living is a brilliant book, a staggering indictment of a brutal and arbitrary healthcare system that shapes our days in ways so small it often goes right over our heads. On top of that, it’s gorgeously written--clear, exacting, rigorous, compassionate--in sentences that lift off the page like song.”
—Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World
“I've never read anything like Emily Maloney's Cost of Living, a devastatingly precise, thoughtful accounting of what it costs to stay alive in capitalist America. In essays rife with vivid characters in unforgettable scenes and stitched through with vulnerability, Maloney offers a clear-eyed assessment of our disastrous medical system. From the years-long medical debt of surviving a suicide attempt to the deadly fate facing untreated pain patients, Maloney's writing indicts the system while honoring the humanity of those caught in it. Everyone with a mortal body should read this book. I hope it creates change.”
—Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body
About Cost of Living
The searing intimacy of Girl, Interrupted combined with the uncomfortable truths of The Empathy Exams in a collection of essays chronicling one woman’s experiences as both patient and caregiver, giving a unique perspective from both sides of the hospital bed.
What does it cost to live?
When we fall ill, our lives are itemized on a spreadsheet. A thousand dollars for a broken leg, a few hundred for a nasty cut while cooking dinner. Then there are the greater costs for even greater misfortunes. The car accidents, breast cancers, blood diseases, and dark depressions.
When Emily Maloney was nineteen she tried to kill herself. An act that would not only cost a great deal personally, but also financially, sending her down a dark spiral of misdiagnoses, years spent in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and tens of thousands owed in medical debt. To work to pay off this crippling burden, Emily becomes an emergency room technician. Doing the grunt work in a hospital, and taking care of patients at their most vulnerable moments, chronicling these interactions in searingly beautiful, surprising ways.
Shocking and often slyly humorous, Cost of Living is a brilliant examination of just what exactly our troubled healthcare system asks us to pay, as well as a look at what goes on behind the scenes at our hospitals and in the minds of caregivers.
About Emily Maloney
Emily Maloney’s work has appeared in Glamour, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best American Essays, and the American Journal of Nursing, among others. She has worked as a dog groomer, pastry chef, general contractor, tile setter, and catalog model and has sold her ceramics at art fairs. Maloney has twice been awarded a MacDowell Fellowship. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.
A Best Book of 2022 - USA TODAY
Named one of the Chicago Public Library's "Best Books of 2022"
“Astute, compassionate and lethally funny. Maloney is an exceptionally alert writer on whom nothing is lost, who sees everything with excruciating clarity.” —Sarah Manguso, The New York Times
"Complex and challenging... push[es] the boundaries of writing about trauma." —The New York Times
“A True Crime Masterpiece” – Vogue
Entertainment Weekly "Must" List and Best Books of the Year So Far
Real Simple's Best New Books
Guardian Best Book of the Year
Lambda Literary Award Winner
Chautauqua Prize Winner