Don Snyder was a professor of English, married, with three children and another on the way, when he got his pink slip. He was sure that it would be only a short stretch before he found another teaching job and was reinstated in the bright life he had come to expect - after all, he had published several books and won praise for his teaching over the years. But the wait stretched on, unbelievably, past a year, until his money and his prospects were gone. Jobs once his for the asking were suddenly far out of reach. The Cliff Walk chronicles Don Snyder's journey from privilege to desperation to a new sense of hope. With each dispiriting change in his life - selling the family's house, standing in line for food stamps, scrawling new budgets each night inside the covers of his kids' bedtime books - he came to see his previous assumptions about work and money and America as naive dreams. A change finally came from an unlikely place: he found a job as an unskilled laborer on a construction site, working outside through a punishing Maine winter. As he slowly learned new skills and let go of old illusions, he found grace and dignity in a kind of work he had run from all his life.