Tracy Quan

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Tracy Quan
Born (1977-08-15) August 15, 1977 (age 40)
Northeastern US
Occupation Novelist, columnist, essayist
Period 1999 - present
Subject Sex work, prostitution, feminism, pop culture, politics, relationships
Literary movement
Novel: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl, Diary of a Married Call Girl

Tracy Quan (born August 15, 1977) is an American writer and former sex worker. She is best known for her Nancy Chan novels. In addition, Quan has written a regular column for The Guardian website on pop culture, sex and politics and is involved in the prostitutes' rights movement.


Tracy Quan was born in the Northeastern US, but grew up in Canada.[1] Her parents emigrated to the US from Trinidad; she has spoken of Chinese, Indian, African, and Dutch ancestors.[2][3][4] Her parents divorced, and she credits her close relationship to her father to this experience.[5][clarification needed]

Tracy Quan read Xaviera Hollander's book The Happy Hooker when she was ten years old and decided to be a prostitute.[1] (Her prior aspiration, to be a librarian, was due to her image of librarians as independent, working women who got to collect money in the form of library fines.) By 19 she was supporting herself as a sex worker, working at an escort agency and a house before becoming an independent call girl with her own client list. As she told CANOE magazine in 2005, "I was never on the street. I've had a relatively easy time." Quan notes she spent 15 years as a working girl in London and Manhattan, although she juggled both writing and sex work for a few years.[1]

As a writer, Tracy Quan first made a splash with her Nancy Chan: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl column in Combining sex with a twice-weekly serial, the semi-autobiographical column centered on Nancy as she juggles her 'straight' boyfriend and family with her clients and girlfriends' problems. The story continues in the novels. Tracy expresses the emotional aspects of her life experiences in her novels, her fiction writing, and keeps her journalism for professional commentary on topics of interest: the plight of sex trade workers, changing sexual mores, topical media frenzies on public personalities such as the Eliot Spitzer scandal.[6] Quan is currently a full-time writer, has been a columnist for The Guardian website and is a contributor to The Daily Beast. In 2010, Quan was a semifinalist for the 3 Quarks Daily Politics Prize, judged by Lewis Lapham. She has become a frequent guest on Morning Brew, a Radio 3 RTHK weekday breakfast show hosted by Phil Whelan, commenting on current events and social media.

Philosophical and/or political views[edit]

Tracy Quan served as a spokeswoman for Prostitutes of New York, or PONY, a sex workers advocacy organization.[7] Quan has been described as a "libertarian entrepreneur", who advocates decriminalization of prostitution in the US.[3][8] At the same time, she does not encourage others to go into the business.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Naiman, Sandy (2001). "Confessions of a call girl". CANOE Lifewise Living.
  2. ^ Townsend, Emru (2001). The Critical Eye.
  3. ^ a b Howley, Kerry (Nov 7, 2005). Reason magazine.
  4. ^ Quan, Tracy (May 22, 2003). Time to Celebrate Asian Diaspora Month.
  5. ^ a b Buchwald, Laura (2001) Random House's Boldtype magazine
  6. ^ Shackleton, Paula (2005) Author Podcast Interview
  7. ^ Wren, Christopher (Aug 19, 1997) New York Times: Life Gets Harder on the Already Mean Streets, retrieved on March 22, 2008.
  8. ^ Tierney, John (Sept 4, 2001) New York Times: The Big City; Hypocrisy Is So Sexy In A Call Girl, retrieved March 22, 2008; MSNBC interview "Is America ready to legalize prostitution?" (Mar 16, 2010):


Nancy Chan[edit]


  • Orientalia: Sex in Asia (2003) (With photographer Reagan Louie.) ISBN 978-1-57687-186-7
  • Prostitution and Pornography: Philosophical Debate About the Sex Industry Edited by Jessica Spector (2006) ISBN 978-0804749381

External links[edit]