This is the first detailed account of the economic lives of women drug users. It is located at the boundaries of three disciplines - criminology, anthropology, and sociology - and based on three years of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in New York City. Set in a neighbourhood plagued by druguse and AIDs, the book reveals the economic lives of a group of women whose options have been severely circumscribed, not only by drug use, but also by poverty, racism, violence, and enduring marginality. It is a fascinating account, with Maher drawing extensively on the women's own words,describing how structures and relations of gender, race and class, are articulated by divisions of labour in the street-level drug economy. The book challenges the impoverished set of characterizations which dominate the literature, critiquing both feminist and non-feminist representations that viewwomen lawbreakers as driven by forces beyond their control. It graphically illustrates the role of the drug economy as a site of cultural reproduction by drawing attention to the specific practices by which gender and race dimensions of inequality are constituted and contested in street-level drugmarkets. This is a rich, nuanced, and theoretically sophisticated study of `crime as work' which will be compelling reading for all those interested in the ways in which women deal with the intersection of gender, race, and work.