Turning Left to the Ladies



Kate Braid

ISBN-13: 978-0-9784917-0-3 (first edition)
$18.00 CDN / $18.00 US | Trade Paperback
May 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1-926794-29-7 (second edition)
$18.95 CDN / $17.95 US | Trade Paperback
May 2015

In 1977 Kate Braid got her first job in construction as a labourer on a small island off the coast of British Columbia. Never in her wildest dreams did she plan to be a construction worker, much less a carpenter, but she was desperate to stay on the island and had run out of money, along with all the options a woman usually has for work — secretary, waitress, receptionist. Turning Left to the Ladies is an autobiographical account of the fifteen years she worked as a labourer, apprentice and journey carpenter, building houses, high rises and bridges. She was the first female member of the Vancouver union local of the Carpenters and the first full-time woman teaching trades at the BC Institute of Technology. Turning Left to the Ladies is a wry, sometimes humorous, sometimes meditative look at one woman’s relationship to her craft, and the people she met along the way.


“Braid’s poems explore the often unspoken resentments and hierarchies in the trades with candour and directness… However, there are also poems that reveal how male co-workers can be teachers and allies. Braid is superb at brief but vivid character sketches, capturing the voice and cadence of others.”—Our Times

“This is mature, reflective, investigative writing.”—BC Bookworld

Weight 145 g
Dimensions 21.6 × 14 × 1 cm


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