Hollander by Alan Mercer (2008)
|Born||Vera de Vries
June 15, 1943
Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies
Life and career
Hollander was born Vera de Vries in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), to a Dutch Jewish physician father and a mother of French and German descent. She spent the first three years of her life in a Japanese internment camp.
In her early 20s, she left Amsterdam for Johannesburg, where her stepsister lived. There she met and became engaged to John Weber, an American economist. When the engagement was broken off, she left South Africa for New York.
In 1968, she left her job as secretary of the Dutch consulate in Manhattan to become a call girl, where she made $1,000 a night. A year later she opened her own brothel, the Vertical Whorehouse, and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971, she was arrested for prostitution by New York police and forced to leave the United States.
In 1971 Hollander published a memoir, The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Robin Moore co-authored this book and came up with the catchy title, while Yvonne Dunleavy wrote the book. The book was notable for its frankness by the standards of the time, and is considered a landmark of positive writing about sex. Hollander details in the book her life as an open-minded woman. She states that during the start of her career, she did not ask for cash in exchange for sex, but her partners voluntarily gave her money and other presents.
Hollander has since written a number of other books and produced plays in Amsterdam. Her latest book, Child No More, is the heartfelt story of losing her mother. For 35 years, she wrote an advice column for Penthouse magazine called Call Me Madam. For several years in the 1970s, Hollander lived in Toronto, where she married a Canadian antique dealer and was a regular fixture in the downtown core.
In the early 1970s, she recorded a primarily spoken-word album titled Xaviera! for the Canadian GRT Records label (GRT 9230-1033), on which she discussed her philosophy regarding sex and prostitution, sang a cover version of The Beatles song, "Michelle", and recorded several simulated sexual encounters, including an example of phone sex, a threesome, and a celebrity encounter with guest "vocal" by Ronnie Hawkins. Xaviera's Game, an erotic board game, was released in 1974 by Reiss Games, Inc. In 1975, she starred in the somewhat autobiographical My Pleasure is My Business. For at least eight years, beginning in 2005, she operated Xaviera's Happy House, a bed and breakfast within her Amsterdam home.
Hollander says she "turned gay" around 1997, establishing a long-term relationship with a Dutch poetess called Dia. In January 2007 she married a Dutch man, Philip de Haan, in Amsterdam. In the meantime, an entire musical about her life has been written and composed by Richard Hansom and Warren Wills. Also a documentary has been released by Robert Dunlap called "Xaviera Hollander: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary".
Hollander has been portrayed in film five times:
- The Life and Times of Xaviera Hollander, an X-rated film released in 1973, by Samantha McLaren
- The Happy Hooker, released in 1975, by Lynn Redgrave
- The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington, released in 1977, by Joey Heatherton
- The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood, released in 1980, by Martine Beswick
- The Best Part of a Man, released in 1975, by Artistae Stiftung
The real Hollander herself appears in at least two films:
- My Pleasure is my Business (1975) by Al Waxman at the Internet Movie Database
- Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary (2008) by Robert Dunlap at the Internet Movie Database
- The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Sphere Books. 1971. ISBN 0-900735-13-9.
- Letters to the Happy Hooker. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973. ISBN 0-446-78277-7.
- Xaviera!: Her Continuing Adventures. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973.
- Xaviera Goes Wild. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1974.
- Xaviera on the Best Part of a Man. New York: New American Library. 1975.
- Xaviera Meets Marilyn Chambers. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1976.
- Xaviera's Supersex: Her Personal Techniques for Total Lovemaking. New York: New American Library. 1976.
- Xaviera's Magic Mushrooms. Sevenoaks, Kent: New English Library. 1981. ISBN 0-450-05064-5.
- The Inner Circle. London: Granada. 1983.
- Fiesta of the Flesh. London: Panther. 1984. ISBN 0-586-06195-9.
- The Best of Xaviera. Sydney: Horwitz Grahame. 1985. ISBN 0-7255-1841-3.
- Knights in the Garden of Spain. London: Grafton. 1988. ISBN 0-586-07432-5.
- Child No More: A Memoir. New York: ReganBooks. 2002. ISBN 0-06-001417-2.
- The Happy Hooker's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex: 69 Orgasmic Ways to Pleasure a Woman. New York: Skyhorse Pub. 2008. ISBN 1-60239-240-4.
- Lucinda, My Lovely. Henley-on-Thames. 1983. ISBN 978-0-85628-118-1.
- Lucinda: Hot Nights on Xanthos. Henley-on-Thames. 1984. ISBN 0-85628-129-8. "(Originally published 1983)"
- Erotic Enterprises Inc. Henley-on-Thames: Ellis. 1985. ISBN 0-85628-142-5.
- Happily Hooked. Panther. 1985. ISBN 0-586-06399-4.
- The Erotic Adventures of Sandra. 1986.
- The Kiss of the Serpent. Grafton. 1987. ISBN 0-586-07040-0.
- Yours Fatally!: Book One of the Golden Phallus of Osiris Trilogy. London. 1987. ISBN 0-586-07039-7.
- Let's Get Moving. Grafton. 1988. ISBN 0-586-07431-7.
- Prisoner of the Firebird. Grafton. 1988. ISBN 0-586-07041-9.
- Lucinda and Other Lovelies. Ellis. 1990. ISBN 0-85628-198-0. "Collects Lucinda, My Lovely; Lucinda: Hot Nights on Xanthos; and Erotic Enterprises Inc."
- Che, Cathay (20 August 2002). "The Happy Hooker gets the girl". The Advocate: 80–3.
- Hollander, Xaviera (1971). The Happy Hooker. Sphere Books. ISBN 0-06-001416-4.
- XY factor, Prostitution: Sex in the City (History Channel).
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