Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Former Xtra West columnist launches Burlesque West

Book looks at Vancouver's heyday of strip tease

Myrtle Knull, who gives her age as '86 and a half', holds up a photo of herself as 'Nina Marlene' taken around 1950.

Former Xtra West columnist Becki Ross launched Sep 10 her much anticipated book on Vancouver’s heyday of burlesque and strip tease.

Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver took UBC professor Ross a decade of research, including in-depth interviews with former dancers and strippers. Vancouver could boast one of the top strip-club scenes in North America for decades, a reflection of its status as a major port and a tourist destination. Dancers could make two-and-a-half times the income of a secretary or clerk at the time — but in exchange had to put up with moral judgment, attempts to impose shame, and racism. The book launch attracted some 147 people to the central Library, including former dancers and practitioners of neo-burlesque.