Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2021 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, HAD I KNOWN contains the most provocative, incendiary, and career-making pieces by bestselling author, essayist, political activist, and "veteran muckraker" Barbara Ehrenreich (The New Yorker).
A self-proclaimed "myth buster by trade," Barbara Ehrenreich has covered an extensive range of topics as a journalist and political activist, and is unafraid to dive into intellectual waters that others deem too murky. Now, Had I Known gathers the articles and excerpts from a long-ranging career that most highlight Ehrenreich's brilliance, social consciousness, and wry wit.
From Ehrenreich's award-winning article "Welcome to Cancerland," published shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, to her groundbreaking undercover investigative journalism in Nickel and Dimed, to her exploration of death and mortality in the New York Times bestseller, Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich has been writing radical, thought-provoking, and worldview-altering pieces for over four decades. Her reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, among others, while her essays, op-eds and feature articles have appeared in the New York Times, Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Time, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. Had I Known pulls from the vast and varied collection of one of our country's most incisive thinkers to create one must-have volume.
"Had I Known is a dazzling tribute to Ehrenreich's unwavering commitment to that cause, her mastery of craft, and an expansive and exceptional career centering on the art of the essay." PEN Awards
“The strange and frightening world we suddenly find ourselves living in is one Ehrenreich has warned about for decades....Her scathing take feels all but prophetic now.” The Washington Post
“[Had I Known is] a one-stop shop for fans of Ehrenreich's gimlet eye and informed outrage...A rewarding, illuminating tour de force.” Booklist
“This argumentative and passionate collection...challenges the status quo throughout, while also including a healthy dose of self-questioning. She is wittily satirical at times...and bitterly Swiftian at others. Gripping.” Publishers Weekly
“Ehrenreich's work is appealing for its fiery focus on social injustice...striking for [its] foresight...[and] a reminder that Ehrenreich's writing is just plain fun to read, thanks to her acerbic wit and spirited grumpiness.” GQ
About the Author
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of over a dozen books, including the New York Times bestselling Nickel and Dimed and Natural Causes. She lives in Virginia.