I am a feminist. In college, I minored in women's studies, and I ended up taking lots of classes with some very earnest, intelligent women about various "women's issues." Inevitably in these classes, the sex industry would come up for discussion at some point or another -- stripping, pornography, prostitution, etc. I didn't know what I thought about the subject back then, and I still don't today. I'm deeply ambivalent about it. On the one hand, I agree with the argument that says that all sex industry workers are being exploited, degraded, and objectified; on the other hand, I agree with the argument that glorifies sex industry workers for taking charge of their sexuality, and asks what's wrong with being (or being seen as) a sexual being anyway? I have absolutely no personal experience with the sex industry, so all this discussion was purely theoretical. So when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Surely I would find some clarification, some resolution to this conundrum, in the memoirs of an ex-stripper?
As it turns out, not so much. Lily Burana herself is deeply ambivalent about stripping, about what it means to her, to her friends and family, and to society at large. That's why she decided to write this book in the first place -- to get some closure on a sticky subject. In the end, she finds personal peace of mind, but no absolute answer, no epiphany. The truth, I think, probably lies somewhere in the middle of those two opposing points of view -- as well as at both extremes. The two different arguments are both true, at the same time. It's enough to give you a headache!
The book itself was very good, I thought. I found it entertaining, informative, and intersting. The author has a gift for descriptive prose, for immersing the reader in a particular time and place so that you feel you're there, part of the action. I enjoyed the parts about the various strip clubs she worked at and the parts about her personal life and history equally. Ms. Burana is a gifted autobiographer, and she wrote the book so that her personal journey interwove itself with the nitty-gritty details of what it's like to live as a working stripper seamlessly, each half of a larger whole.
An excellent book! Very different from my normal reading fare, but worth the trip!
I enjoyed this book much more than I expected! The book is a very personal and insightful account of a former stripper's journey across America to strip in various clubs one more time before "retirement". She gives readers insight as to why women turn to stripping, the different types of clubs, and the reasons why men go them. Often funny and even sweet at times, this book shows that stripping as a profession and not as the butt of jokes.
During one of her jobs as an exotic dancer, the author uses the stage name "Tawdry" ... but that is the only thing that is tawdry about this book. It's intelligent, well-written, insightful & funny, "the thinking girl's" look at the world of strip joints & exotic dancing. The journalist Lily Burana spent years working at these places during her youth, but became a writer instead & got out of that life. When she falls in love & receives a proposal of marriage, she realizes she never made peace with her former profession. So she returns, temporarily, to being an exotic dancer & does a circuit of the clubs, observing the trends & changing customs, interrogating her own emotions about what she's doing & interviewing other strippers & recording what she sees. I recommend this if you are curious about the subject.
Heather reviewed Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book !Well written ,and goes to show that stripping can be a legit career, and not an easy one if you want to play it straight and make good money.This reminds you of the lost art, Before all they did was swing on poles with a G string. I read this in a day.
This sociological look at the life of strippers will have you laughing, crying and wanting to make a change in the world. You will also learn all you ever wanted to about the decency laws in every state in the nation. I appreciated the author's frank look at both the glamour and the grit, the pros (no pun intended) and cons of a life in sex.
Non-fiction account of a woman's journey across country working in strip clubs. An interesting account of how things work in the adult dance industry and how the women interact and live with each other, their customers and their significant others.
First sentence: "It takes me several tries to get the bunny head thing just right."
The book was just sort of 'meh' for me. It was fine, but not great. I read it because I thought it would be interesting to read a non-traditional travelogue and at times, it really was. Parts of it were very good and others were unbearably boring. Her history is very interesting. However, the trip itself is a bit lengthy, often using 10 words where three would have sufficed.
I've never even considered stripping as a career, but Lily writes this memoir so well, that I almost was sad I never tried it! As she says, after 25 you are somewhat washed up, and as I'm way past 25, I feel I may have missed a fun time. While stripping has some negative aspects attributed to it, Lily manages to remain somewhat normal...no drugs, alcoholism, or prostitution...and even makes you understand why she loved it so much. Very interesting book...a different memoir than the usual.
i was really excited to read this but... it wasn't so great. i much prefer candy girl by diablo cody. this book was just all over the place. it shouldve been made into three different books. the author is supposed to be on a farewell to stripping tour and the summary gives the idea that this is what the book is about. her journey, the cities and clubs she goes to, the people she meets. it does, but not so much. it has a lot of her past in it, which should have been put into a second story. its a bit confusing, and kind of boring. she also talks about her lawsuit against one of the San Fran clubs which should have been made into a book because its such an awesome story.