73 books like On the City Wall

By Rudyard Kipling,

Here are 73 books that On the City Wall fans have personally recommended if you like On the City Wall. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Tale of Kieu

By Nguyen Du,

Book cover of The Tale of Kieu: Truyen Kieu

Patrick Holland Author Of The Darkest Little Room

From the list on prostitution and prostitutes.

Who am I?

Prostitution is a thing one has to go looking for to get even a glimpse of in Australia. Since I first travelled, I realised how aberrant this is, and I became fascinated with the implications of making what for many of us is sacred into something transactional. Prostitution, certainly in Asia, where its relationship with ‘normal’ society is more complex than in the West, and where great economic disparity can mean it is a thing that may be both enslaving and freeing, is a fascinating subject for fiction, and one my work has often taken up.

Patrick's book list on prostitution and prostitutes

Why did Patrick love this book?

The Tale of Kieu is an early 19th Century epic poem and the cornerstone of Vietnamese literature. Adapted from a 17th Century Chinese novel, it is the story of a beautiful, well-to-do young woman forced into prostitution to save her family from destitution in a time of great government corruption and civil unrest. The poem is so revered in Vietnam that there is a popular branch of fortune-telling that uses it for predictions, and Kieu’s sacrifice is seen as mirroring the sacrifices Vietnamese have made in times of war and hardship, even across the centuries before the poem was written. The poem is bejewelled with beautiful lines, and presents a unique depiction of a woman who retains her dignity despite the many who try to rob her of it.

By Nguyen Du,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tale of Kieu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tale of Kieu is an epic poem in Vietnamese written by Nguyen Du (1766-1820), and is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature. In 3,254 verses, written in luc bat (6/8) meter, the poem recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman, who had to sacrifice herself to save her family. To save her father and younger brother from prison, she sold herself into marriage with a middle-aged man, not knowing that he is a pimp, and was forced into prostitution.


Boule de Suif

By Guy de Maupassant,

Book cover of Boule de Suif: Maupassant

Patrick Holland Author Of The Darkest Little Room

From the list on prostitution and prostitutes.

Who am I?

Prostitution is a thing one has to go looking for to get even a glimpse of in Australia. Since I first travelled, I realised how aberrant this is, and I became fascinated with the implications of making what for many of us is sacred into something transactional. Prostitution, certainly in Asia, where its relationship with ‘normal’ society is more complex than in the West, and where great economic disparity can mean it is a thing that may be both enslaving and freeing, is a fascinating subject for fiction, and one my work has often taken up.

Patrick's book list on prostitution and prostitutes

Why did Patrick love this book?

Maupassant’s story takes its name from the chubby prostitute at its centre, nicknamed ‘Bowl of Fat’. At the time of Prussian occupation of France, a group of petty bourgeoisie, upper bourgeoisie, noble and religious people encourage her to offer herself to a Prussian officer in return for the freedom to travel through an occupied town to Le Havre. Through this short novel, Maupassant reveals the hypocrisy and moral poverty of those who sit in the layers of society above such outcasts as ‘Boule de suif’ and, by contrast, both the moral solidity and even innocence of the ‘fallen woman’ herself.

By Guy de Maupassant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boule de Suif as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant est un écrivain et journaliste littéraire français né le 5 août 1850 au château de Miromesnil à Tourville-sur-Arques (Seine-Inférieure) et mort le 6 juillet 1893 à Paris.Lié à Gustave Flaubert et à Émile Zola, Maupassant a marqué la littérature française par ses six romans, dont Une vie en 1883, Bel-Ami en 1885, Pierre et Jean en 1887-1888, et surtout par ses nouvelles (parfois intitulées contes) comme Boule de suif en 1880, les Contes de la bécasse (1883) ou Le Horla (1887). Ces œuvres retiennent l’attention par leur force réaliste, la présence importante du fantastique et par le…


Book cover of House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories

Olivia Gatwood Author Of Life of the Party: Poems

From the list on poets who want to write fiction.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing poetry for most of my life and only recently began a real crash course in fiction with my first novel. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but not for the reasons I thought. In poetry, you learn to locate meaning, but you don’t learn narrative structure. Who knew being an existential genius was easier than finishing a sentence? Once I started studying literature that I felt embodied both, I was able to visualize how my poetic voice wasn’t just applicable, but useful, in the world of fiction.

Olivia's book list on poets who want to write fiction

Why did Olivia love this book?

Novellas are a perfect place to start for poets who are interested in writing longer, more narrative work. They’re slim, lyrical, and less daunting. I read this novella in college & haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It takes place in what I can only refer to as a “Sleeping Brothel” where elderly men pay to sleep beside young women. The story is haunting, but it doesn’t take cheap horror shots. Instead, it delves into the complexity of loneliness, the shared vulnerability of sleep, and the human need for comfort.

By Yasunari Kawabata,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three surreal, erotically charged stories from Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata.
 
In the three long tales in this collection, Yasunari Kawabata examines the boundaries between fantasy and reality in the minds of three lonely men. Piercing examinations of sexuality and human psychology—and works of remarkable subtlety and beauty—these stories showcase one of the twentieth century’s great writers—in any language—at his very best.


The World of Suzie Wong

By Richard Mason,

Book cover of The World of Suzie Wong

Tom Carter Author Of Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China

From the list on Chinese prostitution and vice.

Who am I?

Peeking over the American fence, I found myself in China in 2004 as the nation was transitioning from its quaint 1980s/90s self into the futuristic “China 2.0” we know it today. My occupation, like many expats, was small-town English teacher. I later departed for what would become a two-year backpacking sojourn across all 33 Chinese provinces, the first foreigner on record to do so. Since then, I have published three books about China; my anthology Unsavory Elements was intended as a well-meaning tribute to the expatriate experience, however my own essay – a bawdy account of a visit to a rural brothel – was understandably demonized. The following five books expand on that illicit theme.

Tom's book list on Chinese prostitution and vice

Why did Tom love this book?

This story is so sweet and funny, I must have read it a dozen times since first arriving in China. That a Western male writer conceived a female Chinese character as charming and relatable as Suzie without ever straying into offensive farce really says something about the author, Richard Mason’s, craft. His prose is old-school eloquent, and deftly includes the smallest details that bring Suzie, a naughty yet affectionate hooker with a big heart, and her 1950s Hong Kong brothel settings, to vivid life. If I had only five desert-island books, The World of Suzie Wong would be one of them.

By Richard Mason,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The World of Suzie Wong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Penguin Books reintroduces the timeless story of the love affair between a British artist and a Chinese prostitute.

Robert is t he only resident of the Nam Kok hotel not renting his room by the hour when he meets Suzie at the bar. She becomes his muse and they fall in love. But even in Hong Kong, where many white expatriates have Chinese mistresses, their romance could jeopardize the things they each hold dear. Set in the mid-1950s, The World of Suzie Wong is a beautifully written time capsule of a novel. First published more than fifty years ago, it…


The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution

By Scott Cunningham (editor), Manisha Shah (editor),

Book cover of The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution

Trevon D. Logan Author Of Economics, Sexuality, and Male Sex Work

From the list on understandING the world’s oldest profession.

Who am I?

We know that there are markets for “illegal” goods and services, but how do these illegal markets operate? It’s not about who is participating in the market, but about how markets for things that are illegal function. How do you start your illegal business? How do you attract customers? How do you establish a reputation? All of these things are questions that attracted me to the study of male sex work. It is an occupation is thousands of participants. I was excited about the way that male sex work is illegal but also in plain view on the internet.  

Trevon's book list on understandING the world’s oldest profession

Why did Trevon love this book?

If you want to know how economists think about sex work (which is, after all, a market transaction) this is the book to go to. 

This is a collected volume, but if you were interested in how economists do work on sex work and what the major findings have been in the process, you would want to read this book.

There are technical issues covered here in terms of data, how research on sex work is different in developed versus developing countries, and the online market for sex work. 

It also contains a great discussion of the public health issues involved and what we know about sex work and its relationship to STIs.  

By Scott Cunningham (editor), Manisha Shah (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Prostitution bears the unique title of being both the "world's oldest profession" and one of the least understood occupations. Unlike most of the crime and family literature, prostitution appears to be have all the features of traditional markets: prices, supply and demand considerations, variety in the organizational structure, and policy relevance. Despite this, economists have largely ignored prostitution in their research and writings. This has been changing,
however, over the last twenty years as greater access to data has enabled economists to build better theories and gain a better understanding of the organization of sex market.

The Oxford Hanbook of…


Book cover of Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90

Jan Mackell Collins Author Of Behind Brothel Doors: The Business of Prostitution in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma (1860–1940)

From the list on historical prostitution.

Who am I?

Having grown up with an older generation—my great-grandparents, great-great aunts and uncles, and a godmother, all who were born between 1877 and 1900—I learned to appreciate how they lived and what they went through. As a child, I found a hand-written poem about a brothel queen who caused a gunfight between her paramour and a stranger. Then, in college, I met a wonderful old man who told me stories about the former red-light district right in my own neighborhood. Once I learned the often tragic, but also successful stories of these ladies, I decided to be their voice and remind America how important they were to our history.

Jan's book list on historical prostitution

Why did Jan love this book?

Of the six books the late Ms. Butler authored in her lifetime, this one is by far my favorite. Her academic account of the prostitution industry is all facts, with plenty of sources to back them up. There is no flowery talk here, just the truth of how women of the demimonde lived during the late 1800s.

By Anne M. Butler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is in good used condition. Ex-library book. History of prostitution in the American West 1865-1890. Good book for anyone interested in learning more about: Prostitutes -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.


The Sexual Question

By Paulo Drinot,

Book cover of The Sexual Question: A History of Prostitution in Peru, 1850s-1950s

Natalia Milanesio Author Of Destape: Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina

From the list on the history of sexuality in modern Latin America.

Who am I?

I am a historian of twentieth-century Argentina and a professor of modern Latin American history currently teaching at the University of Houston. Born and raised in Argentina, I completed my undergraduate studies at the National University of Rosario and moved to the United States in 2000 to continue my education. I received my M.A. in history from New York University and my Ph.D. in history from Indiana University, Bloomington. I have written extensively about gender, working-class history, consumer culture, and sexuality in Argentina. I am the author of Workers Go Shopping in Argentina: The Rise of Popular Consumer Culture and Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina.

Natalia's book list on the history of sexuality in modern Latin America

Why did Natalia love this book?

In this first book in English about the history of sexual commerce in Peru during the state regulation of brothels, Drinot tells a multilayered story of the complex interactions among sex workers, clients, the police, the government, feminists, and physicians. With a remarkable diversity of archival sources, Drinot explores topics that are frequently disregarded in the history of prostitution like the meanings of masculinity and the interaction between race and venereal diseases that, in the case of Lima, resulted in the stigmatization of Chinese migrants and indigenous men as infectious agents.

By Paulo Drinot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sexual Question as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The creation of Lima's red light district in 1928 marked the culminating achievement of the promoters of regulation who sought to control the spread of venereal disease by medically policing female prostitutes. Its closure in 1956 was arguably the high point of abolitionism, a transnational movement originating in the 1860s that advocated that regulation was not only ineffective from a public health perspective, but also morally wrong. The Sexual Question charts this cyclic process of regulation and abolition in Peru, uncovering the ideas, policies, and actors shaping the debates on prostitution in Lima and beyond. The history of prostitution, Paulo…


Soiled Doves

By Anne Seagraves,

Book cover of Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West

Jan Mackell Collins Author Of Behind Brothel Doors: The Business of Prostitution in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma (1860–1940)

From the list on historical prostitution.

Who am I?

Having grown up with an older generation—my great-grandparents, great-great aunts and uncles, and a godmother, all who were born between 1877 and 1900—I learned to appreciate how they lived and what they went through. As a child, I found a hand-written poem about a brothel queen who caused a gunfight between her paramour and a stranger. Then, in college, I met a wonderful old man who told me stories about the former red-light district right in my own neighborhood. Once I learned the often tragic, but also successful stories of these ladies, I decided to be their voice and remind America how important they were to our history.

Jan's book list on historical prostitution

Why did Jan love this book?

Mrs. Seagraves used real facts and lots of sources to tell her stories, and her book was one of the first to address the prostitution industry in the west. Because of her, some of the women who were formerly cast aside finally got the recognition they deserved. For those seeking a more romanticized look at the biographies of prostitutes and why it is important to remember them, this is the book.

By Anne Seagraves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Soiled Doves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Soiled Doves tells the story of the grey world of prostitution and the women who participated in the oldest profession. Colorful, if not socially acceptable, these ladies of easy virtue were a definite part of the early West--wearing ruffled petticoats with fancy bows, they were glamorous and plain, good and ad and many were as wild as the land they came to tame.

Women like "Molly b'Dam," Mattie Silks, and "Chicago Joe" blended into the fabric of the American Frontier with an easy familiarity. Others, such as "Sorrel Mike," escaped through suicide, Lottie John chose marriage and the Chinese slave…


The Lost Sisterhood

By Ruth Rosen,

Book cover of The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America, 1900-1918

Jan Mackell Collins Author Of Behind Brothel Doors: The Business of Prostitution in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma (1860–1940)

From the list on historical prostitution.

Who am I?

Having grown up with an older generation—my great-grandparents, great-great aunts and uncles, and a godmother, all who were born between 1877 and 1900—I learned to appreciate how they lived and what they went through. As a child, I found a hand-written poem about a brothel queen who caused a gunfight between her paramour and a stranger. Then, in college, I met a wonderful old man who told me stories about the former red-light district right in my own neighborhood. Once I learned the often tragic, but also successful stories of these ladies, I decided to be their voice and remind America how important they were to our history.

Jan's book list on historical prostitution

Why did Jan love this book?

Like Anne Butler, Ms. Rosen used credible sources to explain the “whys and hows” of frontier prostitution, prostitutes’ roles in society, and the culture that kept them in their place. Her book includes government studies conducted with the women themselves regarding their careers. Statistics on the ladies’ health and social diseases are included here too.

By Ruth Rosen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost Sisterhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Rosen has broken entirely new ground in what will surely remain the definitive study of urban prostitution in America for many years to come."--'TLS'


The Underworld Sewer

By Josie Washburn,

Book cover of The Underworld Sewer: A Prostitute Reflects on Life in the Trade, 1871-1909

Jody Hadlock Author Of The Lives of Diamond Bessie

From the list on 19th century prostitutes.

Who am I?

As a young teenager, I lived in a small Texas town and loved touring the Victorian “gingerbread” homes full of antiques. I had an overwhelming desire to time travel back to the mid-1800s. When I learned of Diamond Bessie’s story, I was immediately intrigued because of the period, and also by the circumstances of her life. Why does a woman enter the world’s oldest profession? I discovered that I absolutely love research and “time traveled” back to that era by devouring everything I could get my hands on about life in the 19th century, especially for a marginalized woman like Bessie. 

Jody's book list on 19th century prostitutes

Why did Jody love this book?

After not being able to find a publisher in the early 1900s, Josie Washburn self-published her memoir. In The Underworld Sewer, Josie not only describes her life as a prostitute and madam, but she also debunks the notion at the time that women became prostitutes to “satisfy their own unnatural lusts.” Josie wanted to educate the public about the true horrors and plight of the unfortunate women who had to resort to prostitution to survive and, ultimately, to motivate the public to effect change. Her memoir is as much a scathing commentary on society’s double standards as it is an account of her life as a demi-mondaine.

By Josie Washburn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Underworld Sewer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For twenty years Josie Washburn lived and worked in houses of prostitution. She spent the last twelve as the madam of a moderately fancy brothel in Lincoln, Nebraska. After retiring in 1907 and moving to Omaha, she turned to "throwing a searchlight on the underworld," including the "cribs" of Nebraska's largest city. The Underworld Sewer, based on her own experience in the profession, blazes with a kind of honesty unavailable to more conventional moral reformers. Originally published in 1909, The Underworld Sewer asks why "the social evil" is universally considered necessary or inevitable. Washburn minces no words in exposing the…


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