In My Skin, by Kate Holden

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The Independent Culture

"I remember tenderness," says Kate Holden, of her life as a prostitute, "boredom, the ice-creams we would eat at 3am in front of the television; the smell of cocks, shy men with silky skin". If this sounds like The Sound of Music, be assured that it isn't. Holden's beautifully written account of her descent into hell is uncomfortably honest about the pleasures, as well as the pains, of life in a brothel. A middle-class English graduate, Holden was "going to be an archeologist who read Virginia Woolf in a tent" when heroin dragged her in a different direction. Her talents as a prostitute won her a large and loyal clientele. So should her talents as a writer.

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