Nina MacLaughlin grew up in Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in English and Classical Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, then worked for about eight years at the Boston Phoenix, the award-winning alternative newsweekly. In 2008, she quit her journalism job to work as a carpenter’s assistant. Her experience leaving her deskjob to learn the carpentry trade is the subject of her first book, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter, and she continues to pursue both building and writing. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Believer, the Boston Globe, the Rumpus, the Millions, Bookslut, and many other places. She lives near the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts.