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Tracy Quan   The Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl  
Tracy Quan    
Excerpt

interview

interview

 

The "world's oldest profession" has long been represented in literature, conjuring images of the prostitute as a hard-living, tough-talking woman in stilettos and garter belts, a thick spackling of make-up on her weathered face. This image is a sharp contrast to Tracy Quan, the self-proclaimed "hooker-on-sabbatical" whom I interviewed recently after reading her debut novel, Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl.

Quan is the author of the wildly popular Salon.com column chronicling the life-and-times of high-priced Manhattan call girl Nancy Chan. A continuation of Nancy's antics, Quan's semi-autobiographical novel centers around Nancy's "double-life"--her unsuspecting fiancé knows nothing of her profession and is anxious to settle down--as well as the burgeoning prostitutes' rights movement and the day-to-day situations in which a working girl might find herself. It is an informative and highly entertaining read, driven by the narrator's shrewd observations and wit.

The author, a petite, 30-something Asian-American woman, impeccably dressed and accessorized in Bottega Veneta and Ferragamo, was nothing like the hard-edged, mascara-streaked call-girls of my imagination. She was literary, sharp, charming, and disarmingly open to my many questions about her book, her profession, and her life. We discussed everything from the minute details of a prostitute's life--the do's and don'ts of the trade--to the legal and social obstacles that threaten the industry daily, to the origins of the colorful cast of characters who dwell in her book. Tracy Quan has proven herself a talented novelist from whom we can expect great things in the future.

What follows is a transcript of my conversation with Quan, as well as an excerpt from her book and an audio-clip.

--Laura Buchwald

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  Photo credit: Mike Godwin

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