Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute at Auntie’s Bookstore

Tuesday Feb 27 2018   7:00 PM
Auntie's Bookstore  402 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA  map

Join Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus, coeditors of Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitutefor a talk on sex workers’ rights during the Progressive Era and how Alice’s story is relevant to the modern day sex workers’ rights movement.

Alice compiles, for the first time, the serialized memoirs of “Alice Smith,” a sex worker from Spokane, Washington, who shared her story with a San Francisco newspaper in 1913. A selection of letters to the editor from other working class women and prostitutes are included in this richly illustrated volume. Editors Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus tackle the ways in which Progressive Era politics, changing gender roles, suffrage, labor, and a modernizing media shaped Alice’s world, connecting her story to current feminist and sex worker struggles. New research reveals that most of “Alice’s” story takes place in Spokane and across the Pacific Northwest. Anderson and Angus are visiting Spokane to continue their research and to share this important piece of Western history.

Free and open to the public; more information here.

Devon Angus is an artist, activist, and historian based in San Francisco. He composed and performed a conceptual folk operetta based on San Francisco history, The Ghosts of Barbary, throughout the Bay Area, Switzerland, and Italy. He organized and published a series of oral histories of immigrants in the Catskills region, and was the recipient of an arts grant through the New York State Council on the Arts for his show Songs and Stories of Old New York. Angus is currently pursuing a history M.A. at San Francisco State University.

Ivy Anderson is a San Francisco–based writer who focuses on issues of ecology and radical history. Her reportage on water management issues was published in Water Efficiency Magazine and and her poetry in Poecology. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies with a minor in geography, runs a community garden, and is on the board of a bookstore collective in San Francisco.