Eliot Spitzer’s sex life prompted AbeBooks to come up with a list of nominees for what it calls the Hooker Prize, or “10 recommended non-fiction reads about hookers, madams, high-class call-girls and prostitutes” www.abebooks.com/docs/Community/Featured/hooker-prize.shtml. “Which is tautological given that call-girls and hookers are presumably subsets or synonyms of prostitutes,” Ceri Radford wrote in her blog blogs.telegraph.co.uk/arts/ceriradford/. And why did AbeBooks list only nonfiction like The Happy Hooker when Truman Capote’s great short novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is about a call girl?
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
The answer to this morning’s pop quiz …
Were all of your English teachers squeamish about assigning books about prostitutes? Or were you just distracted by Eliot Spitzer’s resignation?
It took more than 12 hours to get the answer to this morning’s pop quiz, “What’s the most famous American novel about a call girl?” But Impreader nailed it: It’s Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Modern Library, 176 pp., $14.95).
Yes, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a party girl instead of a call girl in Blake Edwards’s 1961 movie. But the Hollywood standards of the pre-Klute era required the sanitizing. Holly’s life has a sadder, if no less interesting, cast in Capote’s short novel. As the filmmaker and short story writer Garth Twa puts it in 101 Books You Must Read Before You Die (Rizzioli/Universe, $34.95):
“Pushing the boundaries and paving the way for the revolution to come, Holly is a gamine — sexually free, hedonistic, a prostitute. She lives for the moment, damns the consequences, and makes up her morality as she goes along. Like her cat without a name, she is unfettered, untameable.”
(c) 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.