Click here for the 2020 Best of Orlando® Readers Poll ballot!


Begun as an academic project, this book is continually distracted by its author's struggle between first-person narrative and research report. The first hundred or so pages are a clutter of multiple stories, characters, foreign phrases and claustrophobic geography; however, this sense of disorientation is likely the same feeling that Brown had while staying in the Heera Mandi district of Lahore, Pakistan. Though her narrative threads eventually join into an easily trackable tale that finds Brown abandoning her academic distance, the bizarre commingling of rank prostitution and centuries-old cultural traditions, of piety and witchcraft, and, most consistently, of pride and degradation is the book's real story. Although the stories of the girls (and boys) in Heera Mandi are largely heartbreaking, Brown doesn't make them objects of pity – a refreshing, if ultimately confusing, approach.

The Dancing Girls of Lahore
By Louise Brown

(Fourth Estate, 311 pages)

Tags: ,

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 27, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation