The Dancing Girls of Lahore

The Dancing Girls of Lahore

Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan's Ancient Pleasure District

Book - 2005 | First edition.
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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.

Publisher: New York : Fourth Estate, [2005]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9780060740429
0060740426
Branch Call Number: 306.742 BRO
Characteristics: viii, 311 pages ;,24 cm

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a
adinacerchez
Sep 16, 2010

very sad and upseting real life story

l
Leafahead
Jun 07, 2006

I enjoyed this book, but it was important for me to remember that this isn't a novel - it is a study. Louise Brown writes eloquently and creates a respectful, complete, honest portrayal of the women of Lahore. It is an interesting book to read, especially if you have read The Twentieth Wife and Feast of Roses by ???.

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