Strip: A Memoir


Product Details

$17.99  $16.73
Tortoise Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Hannah Sward's work has appeared in numerous literary journals such as Yemassee (University of South Carolina), Halcoyne (Black Mountain Press), Red Wheelbarrow, Porter Gulch Review, Other Voices (Canada), Anthology of The Mad Ones, Milk, Alimentum, Anthology of Women Writers, Hypertext, Pig Iron Malt, Pindeldboz, Nerve Cowboy, Afternoon, Wimpole Street Writers, and Word Riot. She has been a regular contributor at Erotic Review since 2015 and was Editor and Columnist at Third Street Villager Los Angeles and a contributor at The Fix and Your Tango. Hannah is on the board at Right To Write Press, a nonprofit that supports emerging writers who are incarcerated. She lives in Los Angeles.


"... elegant prose, stripped of all sensationalism and demands for pity...a fresh, literary addition to the courageous and resonant addiction-memoir genre."


"Arresting, weighty, and visceral as hell, Hannah Sward's Strip is a crushing tale of physical, emotional, and spiritual survival."

― Melissa Broder, award-winning author of The Pisces, Milk Fed, and So Sad Today

"Hannah Sward's Strip catalogues a reckless, fast-paced life, one filled with terrible lows and memorable highs. It's a vivid journey through troubled times, yet also a tale of resurrection and redemption, written in captivating, compelling, and beautiful prose. Sward pulls no punches and she never plays the victim. It's a stunning book--one I highly recommend."― Rob Roberge, author of Liar and others

"Hannah Sward's memoir of how she blundered into the sex industry is touchingly honest, and written with a light touch."

― J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize in Literature, author of Disgrace and others

"Hannah Sward writes about the most intimate taboo things in a signature stark style. With a fleeting brusque description of a man's mustache or his cologne, we are there with her, living every moment of this painful confusing journey as an escort. Sward's writing lacks any self-pity or self-indulgent descriptions which highlight the emotional barrenness of her experience. Strip is a book you can't put down. It's shameless, descriptive, and keeps the reader hungry for the next line, which is what great writing does. Sward is a force to be reckoned with."

― Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean, and columnist for The Fix

"Strip is a story of loss and despair told with a buoyant, utterly seductive voice. Every line, every image Hannah Sward captures is original with her savage wit and the descriptive power she uses to place us in each scene of her bold, devastating adventure. Like a curious witty moth she flickers from the world of stripping, call girl, a menu of drugs and sugar daddies. She dives in, amuses and appalls us, and even in the pits she makes art of each moment. This is no ordinary recovery story. It's a story that defies convention at every step. The writer never feels sorry for herself; she picks up her wit and what's left of her clothes, and moves on to a triumphant end where she finds the full creative command of her heritage."

― Jill Schary Robinson, award-winning author of Bed/Time/Story, With a Cast of Thousands, Perdido and others

"Jaw-dropping talent. Hannah Sward is an astonishingly gifted writer whose poetry shines through every sentence. Her ability at depersonalizing herself and making herself into a tragic hero in Strip is dizzying. Bottom line is that she is a fine writer who will be heard from."

― Ben Stein, lawyer, economist, actor, and author of How to Ruin Your Financial Life and others

"Hannah Sward's words cut through the niceties of daily life to give us a gritty portrait of what happens to young women when they lose their way. With stark details and incisive language, Strip takes readers inside the world of sex trafficking, but not in a salacious way. Rather, hers is the poignant world of lost daughters looking for belonging, hoping to reconnect with missing parents, searching for home--and of the lengths to which young women will go to grab hold of redemption."

― Bernadette Murphy, bestselling author of Zen and the Art of Knitting, Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life and others

"In this richly detailed and moving memoir, Hannah Sward's colorful prose will leave you shocked and gutted. Strip is the story of Sward's bohemian and bizarre upbringing, raised by her poet father and absent mother, she captures her pain with wisdom and hilarity--her dark days as a sex worker and her spiral into addiction, and how she finally recovers, blossoming into the woman she was always meant to be--a talented writer. I could not put this book down."

― Christina McDowell, author of After Perfect: A Daughter's Memoir. O, The Oprah Magazine Summer Picks and The Cave Dwellers