From the book jacket: 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 ...
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