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Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America Paperback – February 19, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Facing imminent marriage, Burana, a journalist who has written for the New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice and Spin, decides to make a yearlong "bachelorette odyssey" to revisit her former career as a stripper. She's exorcising some commitment panic, but also trying to reclaim some dignity for this devalued work. The sex trades may be the world's oldest professions, but where's their history, the "floozerati"? Burana wants to know. A self-proclaimed "sex-positive" feminist, she sees stripping as a choice, not just something women do because there's no other way to earn a buck. True, she herself first went to Peepland to make her rent money, but it also provided a "reprieve from rabid self-actualization" (e.g., studying and trying to get decent jobs). In her return to the "tiprail," she rediscovers the out-of-body high that sometimes graces strippers. But what does her fianc‚ make of all this? And will she be seduced back to this gloriously exhibitionist career? Thankfully, there's a "catcher in the rye": Burana's enormous talents as a writer she has a good ear, a fine wit and an instinct for storytelling reveal another option, one that's perhaps not so different from her former m‚tier. Stripping means "reclaiming [her] sexuality in the public arena" which is exactly what this book does, too. Burana exposes herself with pride, style and a great sense of humor. (Sept.)Forecast: Hot. No handselling to the Moral Majority, but this will prove seductive to urban hipsters, especially after the planned media blitz: a nine-city tour, "Welcome to Strip City" events in New York and L.A., a national TV satellite tour and first serial in Talk magazine.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

No one gives strippers a chance except magazine writer turned autobiographer Burana, who just happens to have been one before her more "respectable" job came along. In this enthralling joy ride of a first book, Burana details the life of a stripper on the road, from the g-strings to the wigs. The book was born of the retired stripper's desire to confront her somewhat sketchy past head on. After laying out the necessary materials to be a fully functional stripper and taking a refresher class on pole dancing and other such duties, she is ready for the road. Through her nonjudgmental view, the reader becomes intimately connected to the life that Burana struggled to get away from for so long and is now squirming to get back into. Her own love of stripping or perhaps the power attached to it is easily conveyed in her gentle and honest prose; even the most conservative naysayer will be curious about this taboo job. If Burana is the class of the sex-worker industry, Sterry is the crass. This startlingly annoying memoir about a "renaissance" man's early foray into the prostitution scene of 1970 Los Angeles offers little in the way of decent prose. Not only is the writing sloppy and uninspired, it serves less to further the story and more to bolster his narcissistic view of himself. Although recounting the sexual escapades of a misspent youth has the potential to create an interesting read, this book falls short in the absence of an actual point. Sterry doesn't even try to feign a revelation, while his attempts to prove he can love without money just serve to reaffirm his shallowness. Maybe he should take some lessons from Burana in writing with heart rather than with sexual body parts. Rachel Collins, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; Reprint edition (February 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780786886753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786886753
  • ASIN: 0786886757
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Lily Burana had a problem. She was approaching marriage, and she knew that for guys, the accepted ritual was to have an anticipatory bachelor party, quite possibly including entertainment by a dancer or a stripper. "It's a time-honored way of saying, 'Goodbye to all that.'" That's all fine for the soon-to-be-former bachelor. Burana's quandary: "But what does a former stripper do when _she's_ about to get married?" There may be no set answer for this one, but for Burana, the answer was, start stripping again, do it everywhere you can, and write your heart out about it. A wonderful book has resulted, _Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America_ (Talk Miramax Books), a close examination of her life in spandex, thigh-highs, and feathers, and a thoughtful look at what strippers do and what it means in current America.
Burana gives us the stripping history of her life, taking off her clothes for pay first as a rebellious adolescent who simply needed money. She was a punk-Goth kid from a nice New Jersey family. She started up in Times Square, long before the clean-up, in a sleazy club called Peepland. She moved up in stripping clubs, but also became a respected writer, and she here gives close access to her interior life. She also became engaged to a great guy who didn't mind her past or her current quest. She takes us to a strippers' school, on a shopping spree for costumes, and to The Exotic World Burlesque Museum. She tells us how her family reacts to her work. She gives us personal insights about what the attraction is for her. Grabbing an on-stage pole, just like she learned at stripper school, at Cheetah's in Los Angeles, she gets into an ecstatic state. "When it feels just right. Righteous.
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By Tanya on September 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have to join many of the other exotic dancers and former exotic dancers who have posted reviews here applauding Strip City. Lily Burana really captures the experience of being an American stripper. Over the past few years I have read Strip City several times and will undoubtedly read it a few more. It is extremely well-written and profoundly insightful. Some of the negative reviews here surprised me at first because they were so mean-spirited, but they actually do reflect the types of attitudes I've become accustomed to in my years of dancing. It seems very important for some people to cling to the notion that all dancers are stupid, narcissistic, and unable to do anything besides take their clothes off. Even worse, dancers are accused of demeaning themselves and allowing themselves to be exploited. Dancing is a great way to make some money, but every stripper has to learn to disregard a large amount of unneccessary, untrue, and insulting remarks such as those. Most customers in strip clubs are respectful and appreciative, even if there is often a vocal minority of patrons who feel compelled to denigrate the performers. Exotic dance can be one of the most beautiful forms of artistry possible, but unfortunately many people seem to be threatened by women who are confident about their bodies and comfortable expressing their sexuality. Their negativity is draining at times because it seems so foolish that these people still attribute moral significance to the removal of clothing. I've danced for close to 10 years and consider erotic titillation to be healthy and enjoyable whether I'm performing or watching other dancers. It is extremely gratifying to see more and more women, like Lily Burana, who are speaking out and describing the exotic dance profession as it really is.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
As a dancer, I "get" this book completely. It expresses things about the job that I instantly recognized as my own feelings and reactions. Hate to say it, but this girl beat me to it, as I had wanted to write my own book on stripping life. Strip City rocks, it hurts, and it blows away any other mainstream book on the subject (though the indie "Lusty Lady" by Erica Langley is good, too).
The rush is real, and so is the anger and exhaustion. I saw my stage name on her hilarious list. I have my own tanning addiction, and a nice manicure no matter what! The similarities would be embarrassing if they weren't so funny!
Someone who reads this hoping for a slob's tour of stripping will come up disappointed (can't ya tell in some of the bitter one-star reviews here?). They can go to an actual strip club if that's their wish. This book is about what it feels like to do the job of creating sexual fantasy, not a conintuation of the fantasy itself.
So, now I can't write the book. But I'll recommend this one. And hope for a sequel.
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Format: Hardcover
After becoming engaged to a charming cowboy in Wyoming, New York and San Francisco-based writer and stripper Lily Burana decides to take a last tour of the strip clubs in America, in order to decide what stripping has meant to her. Burana packs her bags (even her inventory of necessaries is fascinating) and heads out into America.
With emotional honesty, a journalistic eye on her own life, and a great deal of humor, Burana narrates the story of her journey while she looks back at the generations of strippers and burlesque queens who preceded her, and at the same time evaluates the years she spent dancing in clubs in New York and San Francisco. Included in her narrative are starkly moving tales of the rebellious teenager she was, the activist she became, and the woman and writer she is.
Burana also describes the world and business of strip clubs with an experienced eye, and allows us to meet the dancers, managers, employees, and club owners. Burana gives us a fascinating look at the backstage world of stripping that is usually hidden from view.
Strip City combines history, expose, and memoir in such a way that the interweaving tales of Burana's past and present, and the story of her trade, make not only a moving and informative story, but an engaging one.
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