This collection of memoirs examines the relationship between daughters with academic degrees and their working-class parents. Each contributor explores the influence that higher education has had on her relationship with her parent(s), as well as their influence on her academic work. In writing that is akin to archeological work, each writer sifts through layers of experience and draws on the lessons and language of home to consider what working-class parents provide beyond food and shelter for their academically inclined child, and what personal cost is exacted of parent and child in the process. Their stories provoke anyone who has gone to college - woman or man - to consider the influence of their parents on their academic career. The themes in the collection fall into five broad categories: the value and power of bringing the lessons and language of working-class parents into the academy; the psychology of class learned from a parent; the ambivalence of love and pain associated with a parent's sacrifice and the process of becoming an academic; the balancing act of straddling the worlds of academia and home; and definitions of work that either complement or conflict with those learned from parents. The memoirs acknowledge in retrospect how each writer's understanding of her parent(s) shapes her views on education and work.