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Topic: read any books about prostitutes?

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Date Posted: 8/6/2007 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
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Date Posted: 8/6/2007 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
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Hello, I'm rather new to the forums, but one of my all time favorite books is Eleven Minutes by Paulo Cohelo.

It's about a Brazilian girl stolen to be a prostitute in Europe, and how she discovers what true love is. It's a really excellent read, highly reccomended.

Cattriona avatar
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Date Posted: 8/6/2007 2:50 PM ET
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Since you've not specified historical or modern, fiction or non-fiction, here are some historicals to augment the modern ones others have recommended:

I have Slammerkin http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780156007474-Slammerkin

The Dress Lodger http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780345436917-The+Dress+Lodger

and Moll Flanders http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780553213287-Moll+Flanders on my  bookshelf, which is on vacation hold until Friday's (8/10) payday.

A Factory of Cunning -- Philippa Stockley http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780156030670-A+Factory+of+Cunning

In the Company of the Courtesan -- Sarah Dunant


Claiming the Courtesan (romance novel) by Anna Campbell


Known to All (Regency) by Gloria Gay http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9781601451507-Known+to+All


Redeeming Love (Christian romantic fiction) by Francine Rivers http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9781576738160-Redeeming+Love

In terms of a social history, you might enjoy Courtesans: Money, Sex and Fame in the Ninteenth Century by Katie Hickman http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780060935146-Courtesans+Money+Sex+and+Fame+in+the+Nineteenth+Century

You might also consider:
Kushiel's Dart series by Jacqueline Carey -- a different view of a society where sex 
for payment is not only acceptable, but a respected form of art and religion http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780765342980-Kushiels+Dart

Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop -- where a whore practicing her craft and a male 
sex slave are among the characters http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780451456717-Daughter+of+the+Blood+Black+Jewels+Trilogy

Not a book, but also recommended:

Dangerous Beauty -- movie http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Beauty-Catherine-McCormack/dp/6305078319

Am glad you made this post -- my husband was wondering aloud why I seemed to have a number of books on prostitutes in the bookcase -- was I considering a career change?  :-) 



Last Edited on: 8/6/07 2:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
cakirkette avatar
Date Posted: 8/7/2007 12:08 PM ET
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Try Madame Cleo's Girls.  It is a good summer time book.  Not very deep, but entertaining.

Last Edited on: 8/7/07 12:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
boydheather17 avatar
Date Posted: 3/18/2009 5:49 PM ET
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I never saw this thread until now (I went to Hidden Gems and started on the last page) 

Sounds like lots of intersting books.  I now have to go through and make a list of them to reserve at my local library ! 

I have Crimson Petal and the White in my TBR pile............curious to hear what others thought of it.  I better get on it!

I really love PBS! (sigh)

swimtchr avatar
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Date Posted: 3/18/2009 9:23 PM ET
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Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

whippoorwill avatar
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 10:13 AM ET
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This might be a little different than what you are asking for, but Dirty Work by Julia Bell is about a teenage prostitution ring. It's YA fiction, but obviously has pretty mature themes.  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780802797414-Dirty+Work

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Date Posted: 3/19/2009 6:43 PM ET
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I can only think of two right now (I wrote a few papers on sex workers in college and had a bibliography):

nonfiction: Sex Slaves by Louise Brown. It's a survey of the experiences of sex workers in Asia.

fiction: The Student Body by Jane Harvard.  A story about a prostitution ring set at Harvard, as imagined by 4 Harvard College alums.

First time using links, not sure if they work. Thanks everybody for the other good suggestions.

Last Edited on: 3/20/09 11:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
NewRuth avatar
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Date Posted: 3/19/2009 7:46 PM ET
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"Slammerkin"  by Emma Donoghue is a wonderful book.

Slammerkin was a very good book.  I did not like how I saw that it was going, but could not put it down because it was so good.

Cosmina avatar
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Date Posted: 3/19/2009 10:17 PM ET
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Tipping the Velvet, while not wholely about prostitution, had a rather sobering description of what happened to women who were forced into the streets without another way to make money.

I am going to have to look up Slammerkin.


bankie79 avatar
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:09 AM ET
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The Informer- Liam O'Flaherty


Slammerkin is also a high recommendation from my side of the book! ;)

Doughgirl avatar
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:21 AM ET
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I see that you've recceived recommendations for both The Dress Lodger and A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies.   I'm afraid that I have to be a dissenting opinion for both of these books.  

The Dress Lodger was just too too dark and depressing for me.  In general I'm fine with dark and depressing (I thought The Road was an awesome book and that's about as dark and depressing as it gets.), but The Dress Lodger just crossed a personal line for me.

As for A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies.... I thought it was boring.  Not good, not bad, just really, really boring.

bankie79 avatar
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:24 AM ET
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Is it sad that we came up with this many this quickly? lol

Cosmina avatar
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Date Posted: 3/20/2009 11:17 AM ET
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Agree about the Dress Lodger.  Really, really depressing book.  I couldn't believe I even read it.  Well written, story line that kept me reading, but, yes, was not a book I recommend if there is something else to read.

caviglia avatar
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:38 PM ET
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It's sort of different from the other books that have been mentioned, but the first part of Angela Carter's Nights At the Circus includes several brothel set pieces - including a freak show/brothel that has to be read to be believed.  It's one of my favorite books of all time.

I just rewatched Fellini's Nights of Cabiria and it's a really special movie about a prostitute in Rome in the '50s, it's just wonderful.

ExPeruanista avatar
Subject: Harriette (or Harriet) Wilson
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 11:20 PM ET
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If historical prostitutes might interest you, there are several about Ms.Wilson, who was a famous courtesan in England in the early 1800s. She apparently had it on with any number of important government figures, then when her bloom was fading, announced that she was writing her memoirs and anyone who wanted to be left out could pay her for the privilege, leading one eminent gent to utter "Publish and be d---ed!" The memoirs (presumably highly edited) did get at least partly published, and she's quite candid about how she and her sisters took up being kept women. The most recent book about her is 'The Courtesan's Revenge' by Frances Wilson. Older ones are 'Tribute to Harriette' by Angela Thirkell, and 'The Game of Hearts' by Lesley Blanch. There are several books bout Cora Pearl and other famous shady ladies who flourished in the late 1800s and early 20th century, mostly nonfiction. At least one is called 'The Courtesans' but I can't remember the author.
LaurieAnne avatar
Date Posted: 3/21/2009 9:56 AM ET
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I second Mayflower Madam: The Secret Life of Sydney Biddle Barrows by Sydney B. Barrows. It is an excellent book!!

redwingsgal avatar
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Date Posted: 3/23/2009 11:39 PM ET
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Are you interested in historical nonfiction? If so, Upstairs Girls: Prostitution In The American West by Michael Rutter was an interesting read.

jctea avatar
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Subject: John Rechy 's "City of Night"
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 9:36 PM ET
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Date Posted: 3/29/2009 2:21 PM ET
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Suicide Blonde

 By Darcey Steinke
Cosmina avatar
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Date Posted: 3/29/2009 2:38 PM ET
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Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90 (Paperback)  If you search this book title you will find a whole bunch of interesting books about prostitiution in the civil war, early/old west and victorian times.  Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West (Women of the West) (Paperback) is another that was recommended to me recently.

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