Juana María Rodríguez’s “Puta Life: Seeing Latinas, Working Sex”

By LARB Radio HourJuly 7, 2023

Juana María Rodríguez’s “Puta Life: Seeing Latinas, Working Sex”
Subscribe on Podcasts | Spotify | SoundCloud

Do you love listening to the LARB Radio Hour? Support the production of this weekly podcast on books, art, and culture. Donate today.

Eric Newman is joined by scholar and critic Juana María Rodríguez to discuss her latest book, Puta Life: Seeing Latinas, Working Sex. Moving between stories gleaned from archives, interviews, and Rodríguez’s personal experience, Puta Life explores the proliferating and often incongruous meanings of the term “puta” as it circulates in Latinx identity and culture as a signifier of power and powerlessness, rebellion and revulsion, exaltation and degradation. In accounting for how the figure of the puta is socially produced through the regimes of race, gender, class, and the state, Rodríguez’s moving stories of those living, struggling, and thriving on the margins ask us to reckon with the past, present, and future of sex work.

Also, Claire Dederer, author of Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma, returns to recommend Alison Bechdel’s collection The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.

LARB Contributor

The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


Did you know LARB is a reader-supported nonprofit?

LARB publishes daily without a paywall as part of our mission to make rigorous, incisive, and engaging writing on every aspect of literature, culture, and the arts freely accessible to the public. Help us continue this work with your tax-deductible donation today!