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Author of the week: Jillian Lauren

Some Girls, Lauren’s memoir about serving in a prince’s harem with 40 other beauties, contains some surprising and original psychological insights.

Jillian Lauren’s new memoir about serving in a prince’s harem is “a book you want to hate,” said Gendy Alimurung in the LA Weekly. Stories about troubled pasts often chart a too-easy path from sinfulness to redemption, but the psychological insights of Lauren’s Some Girls are surprising and original. The author was an 18-year-old college student and occasional stripper when she attended an “audition” in New York City and was promptly flown to a palace in distant Brunei. She would spend a total of 12 months competing with 40 other beauties for the attentions of playboy prince Jefri Bolkiah. Now a 36-year-old California mom, Lauren says the role she assumed haunted her for years. “It affects how you interact with other people,” she says, “and what you think of men.”

Lauren was paid lavishly for her services and showered with expensive gifts, and she freely acknowledges that she was working as a prostitute, said Irene Lacher in the Los Angeles Times. Every night, the women in the harem would attend a party at the palace, complete with a deejay and an open karaoke mike. Prince Jefri had his pick of which woman he’d escort to his bedroom. Lauren says the rivalries were fierce, and she leapt into the fray. “He was this incredibly unattainable figure, and I wanted to win. I thought I loved him,” she says. This seems strange to Lauren now, but her decisions make sense in the context of her story. “I know different things about love now,” she says.

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