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Carnival Strippers

Regular price $152.00

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Carnival Strippers, Susan Meiselas. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1976. First Edition. 

Vintage softcover. Some light wear along edges. Some spine creasing. Some small creases to corners of back cover. Small stain to bottom left corner of last page. No other markings inside. Very good condition. 

From 1972 to 1975, Susan Meiselas travelled around small-town New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina following women carnival str*ppers. She photographed their public performances as well as their private lives; and interviewed the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.

"The book pairs black-and-white photos of the women with first-person accounts of their lives in the carnival, and sometimes what brought them there. Back then, “we didn’t use the word ‘agency,’ ” Meiselas said. But the fundamental aims of the women’s movement at the time—sexual freedom, self-determination, and financial independence—emerge, in her book, as motivating forces for the strippers, even if the movement might have deemed women like them choiceless. Lena, whom Meiselas became close to, speaks of feeling more “respected” by other women when she worked as a waitress, but adds, “I prefer dancing. . . . When you dance you can be anything you want.”" (The New Yorker, 2022).