Dr. Heather Branstetter, author of “Selling Sex in the Silver Valley: A Business in Doing Pleasure” will discuss the book Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in the library Community Room.
This program is offered as one of series of regional author talks as part of the library’s Adult Summer Reading programs.
Once the largest silver producer in the world, Wallace became notorious for labor uprisings, hard drinking, gambling, and prostitution. As late as 1991, illegal brothels openly flourished because locals believed that sex work prevented rape and bolstered the economy, so long as it was regulated and confined to a particular area of town.
The madams enjoyed unprecedented status as influential businesswomen, community leaders and philanthropists, while elsewhere a growing aversion to the sex trade drove red-light districts underground. Branstetter’s research features previously unpublished archival materials and oral histories as she relates the intimate details of this unlikely story.
A Silver Valley native, Branstetter graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from the University of Idaho before completing a doctorate in rhetoric, writing and cultural studies at the University of North Carolina. She taught at the University of Idaho, the University of North Carolina and Wake Forest University and was assistant professor of rhetoric and writing at the Virginia Military Institute. She now lives in Wallace where she is executive director of the Historic Wallace Preservation Society.
Copies of the book will be available to purchase for signing, with a portion of sales benefiting the Friends of the Library.
Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit www.cdalibrary.org or www.lcplibrary.org. The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, www.cinlibraries.org. The library news blog is available at www.cdalibrary.org/newsletter. Library Director, Bette Ammon. Main Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The Lake City Public Library is currently closed through Aug. 21 for maintenance. For regular updates follow our libraries on Facebook and Twitter.