The Palace Blues
Series The Pam Nilsen Mysteries ; v. Lesbians -- Fiction. Women detectives. Seattle Wash. Washington State -- Seattle. Summary When a teenage runaway is murdered and her best friend goes missing, Pam Nilsen must dig into the seedy underbellies of Seattle and Portland to discover the truthPam Nilsen, co-owner of Seattle collective Best Printing, is still recovering from the heartbreak of her first real girlfriend leaving town when she decides to take two young prostitutes under her wing. The girls, age fourteen, are already coarsened by the worlds of sex, drugs, and crime.
When one turns up dead and the other, Trish, is nowhere to be found, Pam hits the streets to find her. Trish, a possible witness to murder, is in da.
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Contents Cover; Title Page; Dedication; Contents; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; Acknowledgments; Preview: The Dog Collar Murders; About the Author; Copyright. Notes Description based upon print version of record.
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That magazine is among the worst as far as portraying violence against women. I would, too. Thanks for that Kathy — as a child of the late 70s and early 80s I really enjoy books that straddle that era and as a confirmed Socialist of the old school I think that is why I liked this one, for all its gaucheries. I will take your word about Hustler if that is OK, not sure I can really stomach actually reading the actual publication, though it is fascinating to see it at the extreme end of the freedom of expression debate and the culture wars of the era.
Set in contemporary Venice, it is interesting.
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There is some good history in the book about Napoleon and about convents which took in abandoned girl babies and trained them to be musicians. That was fascinating. Thanks for that Kathy. Quite the product of its times, Sergio. The 70s and 80s, as I recall, saw the rise of feminism and the liberal woman, most certainly in my part of the world.
And this was evident across cultural mediums, particularly films. In that sense, I found this story and its characters most unusual, not to mention the title of the book, which would have drawn me towards it. Thanks Prashant — The trapping may be historical, but the message is still relevant, even though some amazing things have happened in the interim, like President Obama making it to the top of the OUT ally list. Sara Paretsky is a favorite author, as she writes of a terrific character, interesting plots and political and social issues.
When the movie about Flynt came out, Gloria Steinem wrote a very biting criticism of him and Hustler in a New York Times op-ed that was brilliant.
That stopped people from seeing the movie. The important bit always comes in looking in detail at the deeper ramifications. I remember not always agreeing with Susan Dworkin on the detail of the money-sex-explotation nexus, but I alwatys agreed with her in principle. It is so often about cash and not about real freedom of expression, which is just so disheartening in what is supposed to be a sophisticated Western world.
But then just look at the GOP debates …. You are running through my life, Sergio, with I Start Counting from my young days, and now this which I read when it came out. Yes it probably was extreme, but you have to consider what some of the male-written fiction was like in those days — it was a very reasonable reaction to the likes of, say, Fletch, with those appalling attitudes to women.
Wilson herself was a fascinating person — when I lived in Seattle some years later she was quite the local character in leftie circles which is a big deal in Seattle and I used to see her at things and hear stories about her…. Something tells me I would get on really well with your Mum, from your glancing comments we share a lot of tastes! Your mother does sound like a fascinating woman with good politics and a host of good books to match. Was she an activist in her younger days? Later days? Steinem criticized Hustler because it glorified violence against women on its pages; more women being brutalized than in any other publication.
She was not against sexuality being portrayed; it was the depiction of every type of violent act against women, very sadistic and sick, in my view. And she was also concerned that those sadistic portrayals sparked acts like them. But here is the thing: No one censored the movie. No movie theaters took it down. No producer or director said no. No one did anything to censor it. A prominent woman wrote an op-ed explaining what Hustler depicted. It was all decided in public with words It would be nice if wars could be prevented like this.
No theaters were trashed, no books burned, no people arrested, no movies seized. Someone used her brain and wrote down cogent arguments and persuaded others. Intelligent arguments, people thinking and deciding for themselves. Now, I might have been for handling it differently as a child of the 60s.
Or putting them in a time capsule or sending them to the Bermuda Triangle. My recollection is that it is not, in and of itself, pro porn or anti women.
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My parents also, although in their older years, they were more readers than rabble-rousers, although my father sometimes went to demonstrations. There was not censorship; there was debate. People voted with their wallets and chose not to see the movie. Have you seen the film Kathy? It is posted online. I just reread it. Steinem used the power of debate, of words — and she was persuasive. The link to the Stenem piece is currently here. Thanks Kathy. Not wishing to flog a dead horse, or to have the last word, so apologies if this comes across like that, but the Flynt film seems in some ways an odd one to pick for criticism in thsi congtext.
I would argue, for myself, that the average Ashley Judd revenge thriller was much more pernicious and damaging. What I appreciate about the Flynt film is its willingness to take a difficult subject and look for nuance, complexity and contradictory behaviour within it and expand beyond a reductive reading about porn.
I agree with Steinem in principle, but I wish she had picked a different kind fo film, one that was going to be gobbled up my the masses instead of a nieche product that was trying to do somethign brave and different.