Nine Lives—from Stripper to Schoolteacher Summary

Lynn Snowden

Nine Lives—from Stripper to Schoolteacher

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

As a former fashion model and a freelance journalist who has written for ESQUIRE, VANITY FAIR, VOGUE, ROLLING STONE, COSMOPOLITAN, HARPER’S BAZAAR, INTERVIEW, MADEMOISELLE, SPY, and NEW YORK WOMAN, Lynn Snowden developed a chameleonlike ability to adapt herself to suit her circumstances. She also apparently developed a huge curiosity. As she writes, “I wondered what would occur if I took nine vastly different jobs in the space of one year. Presuming that my ’core’ identity would remain exactly the same, I was interested in how it would feel to know that people were treating me differently because of what I did for a living, not because of who I am as a person.”

In the course of her odyssey Snowden was—in order—a pyrotechnician for the rock band Skid Row; a copywriter for a major New York advertising agency; a substitute high-school teacher in Virginia; a waitress in a Las Vegas casino; a celebrity publicist in Los Angeles; a Long Island housewife; a New Orleans stripper; counselor in a rape crisis center in Austin, Texas; and an assembly-line worker in a chocolate factory.

Readers who do most of their adventuring via the pages of books will enjoy Snowden’s accounts of her various jobs. She writes with a refreshing lack of self-consciousness about what she saw and felt. Her major discovery—which she guessed in advance—is that people do treat you differently because of what you do for a living. Probably the real surprise for Snowden was that she treated others differently as a result of whatever job she was currently filling