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Nina MacLaughlin | Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

NinaFind out how a journalist in her twenties transformed her life by learning carpentry as Nina MacLaughlin presents her memoir, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.

Despite being a Classics major who couldn't tell a Phillips from a flathead, MacLaughlin applied for a job as a carpenter's assistant. As she learned to make things by hand, her world view began to shift. In her book, she recalls the people in her new world -- from Mary, her tough carpenter-sage, to grizzled hardware store clerks -- and takes readers into the homes she helps remodel. The history of tools, the virtues of wood varieties, and the wisdom of Ovid are interwoven into this moving story of a person finding her passion.

Nina MacLaughlin grew up in Massachusetts and lives in Cambridge, where she works as a carpenter. Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she has written for the Believer, Bookslut, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended as space is limited. Call (802) 649-1114 or email to reserve a seat.


Event date: 
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Norwich Bookstore
291 Main Street
Norwich, VT
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Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393239133
Availability: Special Order (call or email to check availability)
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 16th, 2015

Nina MacLaughlin spent her twenties working at a Boston newspaper, sitting behind a desk and staring at a screen. Yearning for more tangible work, she applied for a job she saw on Craigslist--Carpenter's Assistant: Women strongly encouraged to apply--despite being a Classics major who couldn't tell a Phillips from a flathead screwdriver.