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Author: Jeannette Angell
Genre: Memoir
Reviewed by Claire Krulikowski

10080408Prior to writing Callgirl, Jeannette Angell had been writing fiction, with four books published in the last 10 years. In Callgirl, though, Angell breaks the mold to share a true, personal story with insight, grit, humor, and a fine writer's expertise of the three years when she was teaching courses at universities in Boston during the day and working as a call girl at night.

There was a professor at my college in the '70s who, I'd learned back then, was doing the same. Money, making ends meet, was the reason then as universities paid less than prime.

The reason was the same for Angell. Holder of 5 degrees (a Bachelors from the Universite Catholoique del L'Quest in France, another B.A. in History from Fitchburg State College, a B.S. in Education from Lesley College, a Master of Divinity Studies from Yale, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology), when one of those ill-fated life situations happened that wiped her our financially and she needed fast cash, she went looking in the classifieds. It took a little consideration, but she finally decided to do it. At $140.00 (her take) an hour, it was a financial no-brainer.

What she was surprised to learn on her first evening "try out" was exactly how good she could be - not just sexually - but in all the other skills necessary for success and safety in the profession. Skills most people wouldn't even think were necessary, including a highly attuned intuition, and an awareness and a plethora of subtle abilities that keep you desired and keep you safe. We also come to meet others: the woman who ran the agency, a friend into drugs whose life we can sense slipping away even in our presence, other very business savvy “girls.” We share heartfelt conversations with a friend – a friend who doesn’t stay one very long.

In Callgirl, Angell draws readers intimately close to her life, day and night. Don't expect sensationalism, though. That's not what this book is about. Instead, Callgirl is written to do away with assumptions about this profession and the women who work in it. Assumptions like, "...call girls have no ethics" or that "she, essentially, is her profession and that her profession is nothing to be proud of."

It's a subject Angell can teach well and understands even academically. During the latter period of her days working as a call girl, she created and taught a fall university class entitled The History and Sociology of Prostitution.

Callgirl is an intimate glimpse into a world not many people, least of all the clients, has ever seen or understood.


October 28, 2004 in Memoir | Permalink


I need your mail every day.

Posted by: rana | Aug 15, 2006 6:25:14 AM

I love you ...you are the best

Posted by: diana | Aug 19, 2007 9:38:22 AM

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