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Our Flesh was Cheap by Eve Linkletter (Fabian Books #Z-128, 1959)

Posted in pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

In Taxi Dancers, Eve Linkletter wrote about a young lady’s desperation in the Big Apple, taking a job in a taxi dance hall. In Our Flesh was Cheap, Linkletter writes about a desperate young girl in Tijuana who sells her body and is abused by her pimp.

The narration is first-person, told by Rosa Sanchez, 18 years old, who has worked as a “crib girl” since she was 16.  A crib in vintage Tijuana hooker lino is a brothel, similar to old red light brothels where the prostitutes sat by windows and/or kept a red light on in their room, announcing availability.

The book opens with Rosa working a cantina because the cribs are closed over some articles written by an American reporter over an incident with some American teenagers, so the local authorities are worried about decline in tourist trade. This still happens — whenever there’s negative news about the clubs or sex trade district, curfews and early closing times are imposed, or the streets cleaned up, which only lasts for a few weeks until things go back to normal.  For instance, in Tijuana’s Zona Norte, one used to be able to find underage streetwalkers, but all the negative press and pressure by religious and human rights groups, underage hookers can only be found in certain brothels that do not advertise, you have to know where to look; and the young-looking streetwalkers, although they look 15-18, will tell you they are 20.  The age of consent in Mexico is 12, but supposedly a girl has to be 18 to work the streets or bars, and they all carry health cards, which Rosa does in this marvelously written short novel…

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