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2 Burnside Feminist Studies- Sex Industry

The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Ancient Pleasure District

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The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Ancient Pleasure District Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The dancing girls of Lahore inhabit the Diamond Market in the shadow of a great mosque. The twenty-first century goes on outside the walls of this ancient quarter but scarcely registers within. Though their trade can be described with accuracy as prostitution, the dancing girls have an illustrious history: Beloved by emperors and nawabs, their sophisticated art encompassed the best of Mughal culture. The modern-day Bollywood aesthetic, with its love of gaudy spectacle, music, and dance, is their distant legacy. But the life of the pampered courtesan is not the one now being lived by Maha and her three girls. What they do is forbidden by Islam, though tolerated; but they are gandi, "unclean," and Maha's daughters, like her, are born into the business and will not leave it.

Sociologist Louise Brown spent four years in the most intimate study of the family life of a Lahori dancing girl. With beautiful understatement, she turns a novelist's eye on a true story that beggars the imagination. Maha, a classically trained dancer of exquisite grace, had her virginity sold to a powerful Arab sheikh at the age of twelve; when her own daughter Nena comes of age and Maha cannot bring in the money she once did, she faces a terrible decision as the agents of the sheikh come calling once more.

Review:

"What happens when a sociologist gets so close to her subjects that she chooses friendship over detached observation?....Without sentimentality of judgment, Brown presents the terrible dilemmas her friends face... The only choice that seems clear was Brown's to enter into the friendships that produced this engaging and heartbreaking book." Kate Daloz, BUST

Book News Annotation:

By the standards of almost any culture, particularly their own, they are unclean. They are born into the business, and the sale of their virginity, and their daughters' virginity, is often necessary for their family's survival. Their lives are proscribed and in that small space often chaotic, especially when they dare to behave for one second like other women. Brown (sociology, Birmingham U.) writes with a novelist's sense of what is important in her account, taken from four years of diaries of her experiences living with a family of prostitutes in Lahore, Pakistan. She does not flinch from the reality of the women's situation, but she is also sensitive to their ability to live on hope, in many cases, the hope of a time when they will not be bought and sold.
Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Louise Brown is an academic at Birmingham University, England, and the author of several books on Asia. She frequently returns to Lahore, Pakistan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060740429
Author:
Brown, Louise
Publisher:
Fourth Estate (GB)
Author:
by Louise Brown
Author:
Santlofer, Jonathan
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
Prostitution
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Women -- Pakistan -- Lahore -- Social conditions.
Subject:
Prostitution - Pakistan - Lahore
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20050731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.05 in 19.36 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Sex Industry
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Pornography
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

The Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Ancient Pleasure District Used Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Fourth Estate - English 9780060740429 Reviews:
"Review" by , "What happens when a sociologist gets so close to her subjects that she chooses friendship over detached observation?....Without sentimentality of judgment, Brown presents the terrible dilemmas her friends face... The only choice that seems clear was Brown's to enter into the friendships that produced this engaging and heartbreaking book."
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