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Emily Maloney

Emily Maloney is the author of Cost of Living (Henry Holt, forthcoming 2022). Her work has also appeared in the Atlantic, Glamour, Best American Essays, the American Journal of Nursing, and other publications. She has worked as an ER tech and EMT, dog groomer, pastry chef, general contractor, tile setter, and catalog model, and has sold her ceramics at art fairs. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.


Illustration by Carlo Giambarresi

Cost of Living

Spring 2016 | Essays

Sitting on a cot in the emergency room, I filled out paperwork certifying myself as the responsible party for my own medical care—signed it without looking, anchoring myself to this debt, a stone dropped in the middle of a stream.