“Eastern Shame Girl” pulp novel

"Eastern Shame Girl" pulp novel cover  ©1947 Avon Book Company
"Eastern Shame Girl" pulp novel cover ©1947 Avon Book Company

While browsing at Myopic Books, my favorite neighborhood bookstore, I stumbled upon this gem–the pulp novel, “Eastern Shame Girl.” Here’s a peek at the steamy contents, from the inside flap:

Delightful and Exciting
Here is a new and different reading experience. In this volume are assembled some of the best of the classic tales of China and the Far East. Written in a graceful and beautiful style, each story is redolent of the exotic excitement and forbidden pleasures of the Orient.
The title story, Eastern Shame Girl, recounts the love of a rich young man for a girl of doubtful virtue, and what transpires when he becomes her lover and takes her away with him. The Counterfeit Old Woman tells the adventures of a handsome young man who dons female garb and introduces himself into those quarters usually reserved for women alone. The Temple of the Esteemed Lotus is the strange account of how the women who came to the temple to pray for a child had their prayers answered in a highly diverting manner.

This edition was published in 1947; the book was originally published in 1935 under the much less saucy title, “Chinese Love Tales.” Here’s one of the fantastic inside illustrations:

"Eastern Shame Girl" pulp novel illustration ©1947 Avon Book Company
"Eastern Shame Girl" pulp novel illustration ©1947 Avon Book Company

4 thoughts on ““Eastern Shame Girl” pulp novel

  1. Just a little more background on this book for your readers – Eastern Shame Girl was the original title of the book when it was published in the late 1920s – it was banned as obscene in the US, although it (I assume the publisher rather than the book) was cleared of the obscenity charge. It was re-published by Three Sirens Press/Illustrated Editions under the “Chinese Love Tales” title – I’m guessing either because of a desire to avoid association with the obscenity charges, or because of the previous publisher’s rights to the “Eastern Shame Girl” title? (Publishing rights seem to have been a much more fluid thing in past, with reprints of many books made by multiple publishers one right after another – whether that’s the case here or not I’m just speculating.)

    I think it’s hilarious that your 1947 edition was once again trying to sex up these stories – trust me, to a modern sensibility there’s nothing very “steamy” here, let alone erotic, pornographic, obscene, smutty, whatever you want to call it. Yes, the characters in these stories often have sex; it is referred to casually, euphemistically, and as a natural part of the storyline. How refreshing!

    I’ve linked to a copy of the book I currently have for sale on Etsy (11/09), where you can see scans of some of the beautiful illustrations from the 1935 Three Sirens edition.

  2. The b&w plate also appears in EASTERN LOVE STORIES from Shakespeare House, with no artist credit – but from others in the same book I can see from the signature lower left that it’s by Nino Carbe (trying to imitate Mahlon Blaine).

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