Columnist Nina Burleigh wrote about Lost Girls and prostitution, reviewing the book and interviewing me:
By humanizing the women, Mr. Kolker has produced a subtle indictment of the sex trade. But he says that was not his intention. He got into the story when he learned that the families of the girls were meeting together and he joined them in New York. He expanded a magazine article into the book.
“I didn’t have a strong feelings about prostitution pro or con,” he said. “I wanted to write this book because the women surprised me. Their home lives were unstable, but no more unstable than those of thousands of other people in struggling parts of America.
“Their lives were a window not just into a new era of prostitution, but also a struggling segment of America that just doesn’t get written about often. There’s a level of despair in working-class communities around the country that we tend to overlook. These are places where prostitution might still be frowned upon but is nevertheless becoming a highly attractive option.”