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Jobs for the Girls

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408713464

Price: £22

ON SALE: 21st September 2023

Genre: Humanities / History

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A unique take on women’s history from the bestselling author of British Summer Time Begins

‘Witty, clever and warm-hearted’ The Times

‘Maxtone Graham [has a] unique blend of high comedy and shrewd social observation’ Spectator

‘Terrific’ Daily Telegraph

Drawn from real life, from interviews with women from all sections of society who have ever had a job, this book is a portrait of British women’s working lives from 1950, through cardigans and pearls, via mini-skirts and bottom-pinching, to shoulder pads and the ping of the first emails (early 1990s), never forgetting overalls, aprons and uniforms.

Graham conveys the full range of experience: to convey the flavour and atmosphere of workplaces in all their character: the jollities as well as the drudgeries, the good men as well as the vile ones, the nasty women as well as the heroines, the office crushes and romances, the daily drudgery, the lunch hours, the parties, the great piles of paper all over the place, the family-feel of workplaces, the daily burden of trying to run a household and family as well: in short, to look at all facets of this rich slice of British life.


Terrific... What struck me, as I devoured the recollections of 200-plus women, is how recently all this thwarting of female lives went on... How poignant and powerful is this secret history as it tells us her story
Daily Telegraph
Maxtone Graham [has a] unique blend of high comedy and shrewd social observation... The book thrums with life and noise... With freshness and immediacy, Jobs for the Girls illuminates a period of our very recent history
There are many beguiling stories... in Jobs for the Girls, receding echoes of another century, bound together by the author's equally beguiling voice and the crisp intelligence of her observations
Lucy Lethbridge, Tablet
When she seems to be most nostalgic for a dear British past, she shocks the reader by the devastating but always humorous accuracy with which she describes the sheer horror of it. She is a sort of George Orwell, who has taken journalism to a soaring literary height - only she is even better than Orwell. I actually do not know of any writer alive in the English language, in verse or prose, who is cleverer, more observant or who has told us more about ourselves
A.N. Wilson, Spectator, Book of the Year
Maxtone Graham, who mined the memories of more than 200 women for their personal job stories, excels in the quirky, comic and often poignant details that resonate with her readers... Witty, clever and warm-hearted, Jobs for the Girls is a book to remind women of how universal our experiences were
Melanie Reid, The Times
Ysenda Maxtone Graham has a talent for conjuring the atmosphere of times past, both comical and tragic
Country Life
A riotous new history of women's decades-long struggle to be taken seriously at work
Mail on Sunday