Previously-unpublished Algren piece appears in Harper’s

Previously-unpublished Algren piece appears in Harper’s

March 19, 2009

There used to be a bright little whorehouse on the north side of West 45th Street called the Lucky Lady. You came off the street to a window throughout which you could see a young woman sitting at a desk. The buzzer sounded, the door unlocked, and you paid her fifteen dollars if it was your first visit. She then gave you a small red card with the letters LL upon it, which reduced your entrance fee, thereafter, to thirteen dollars.

Algren wrote this piece of reportage on Ed Koch’s anti-prostitution “John Hour” policy, “No More Whorehouses”, in 1979. Until the release of this month’s issue of Harper’s, it had been unpublished—and largely unread—for thirty years.

Interested? Take a look at the article in the April 2009 issue of Harper’s (subscribers only)—or get ready for the publication of Entrapment, a collection of Algren’s unpublished and underpublished fiction and reportage, coming from Seven Stories in mid-April.

If that chicken-headed mayor would keep his chicken face out of my sex life, I’d have more respect for him. —Nelson Algren

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