The Dancing Girls Of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Pleasure District by LOUISE BROWNThe Dancing Girls Of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Pleasure District by LOUISE BROWN

The Dancing Girls Of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Pleasure District

byLOUISE BROWN

Paperback | July 3, 2006

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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.

Louise Brown is an academic at Birmingham University, England, and the author of several books on Asia. She frequently returns to Lahore, Pakistan.
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Title:The Dancing Girls Of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Pleasure DistrictFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.76 inPublished:July 3, 2006Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060740434

ISBN - 13:9780060740436

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I have been reading a lot of books from the Middle East recently and so this fits into that theme and holds it's place at one of the better written ones that I've read. The world the author takes us into is very diverse and colourful and I wanted to keep running because I didn't think I'd get tired of reading it. I feel for the author in the sense that you go into a place with such poverty and corruption and want to fix everything. You want to save everyone and give them everything they need but you can't. Because you don't have enough money and because it goes so much deeper then anything you can fix. I don't know why I wasn't able to give it 5 stars but it just fell short.
Date published: 2017-10-08

Editorial Reviews

“A fascinating ethnography with Bollywood flair, even at its darkest moments.”