112th: Elizabeth Emens on Life Admin
Join us at Book Culture on 112th Street on Tuesday, February 26th at 7pm as we welcome Elizabeth Emens to discuss her new book, Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Life More.
Reading this book should be at the top of your To Do list. Life Admin will give you many hours of your life back.
Every day an unseen form of labor creeps into our lives—stealing precious moments of free time, placing a strain on our schedules and our relationships, and earning neither appreciation nor compensation in return. This labor is life admin: the kind of secretarial and managerial work necessary to run a life and a household.
Elizabeth Emens was a working mother with two young children, swamped like so many of us, when she realized that this invisible labor was consuming her. Desperate to survive and to help others along the way, she conducted interviews and focus groups to gather favorite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.
Life Admin tackles the problem of admin in all its forms, from everyday tasks like scheduling doctors appointments and paying bills, to life-cycle events like planning a wedding, a birth, a funeral. Emens explores how this labor is created, how it affects our lives, and how we might avoid, reduce, and redistribute admin whenever possible—as individuals and as a society.
Life Admin is the book that will teach us all how to do less of it, and to do it better.
ELIZABETH EMENS is an Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She earned her law degree at Yale and her Ph.D. at Cambridge. She lives in New York City.