Louise Brown

Writer - fiction/non-fiction

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Photograph: cred. Aimee Spinks


Agent: Caradoc King
Assistant: Becky Percival


Louise’s critically acclaimed book, THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE, has been chosen as the November 2020 pick for The Fearless Book Club by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai.

Alongside her work as a writer, Louise works for women’s organisations and UK law enforcement, working to identify and support sexually exploited women who are victims of modern slavery.

Louise has lived in Nepal and travelled extensively in India and Pakistan, sparking her enduring love of South Asia. She was a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Asian Studies at the University of Birmingham, where she taught for nearly twenty years. In research for her critically acclaimed non-fiction books, she’s witnessed revolutions and stayed with a family of traditional courtesans in the old city of Lahore. 

Louise has three grown-up children and lives in Birmingham. 

Her previously published books are: SEX SLAVES: THE TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN IN ASIA (Virago 2001); THE TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN NEPAL (Routledge 1995); WAR AND AFTERMATH IN VIETNAM (Routledge 1991); THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE, a personal account of life in a Pakistani brothel quarter; EDEN GARDENS (Headline 2016); and THE HIMALAYAN SUMMER (Headline 2017).

Louise is also developing original drama for television with co-writer, Lorna Nickson Brown. Her original drama, BABY GOODBYE, was optioned by World Productions and her book, THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE is now optioned for film adaptation.

She is currently working on her latest novel, ARCADIA.


Praise for Louise's work:

“Chilling and heart-warming . .  . Brown has a novelist’s appreciation of her surroundings and the human drama that plays out before her.”New York Times [THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE]

“Beautifully written, you can smell the spices, feel the heat, and your heart will break. You will laugh, cry and you will want a sequel."Lovereading [THE HIMALAYAN SUMMER]

“Faithfully researched, colourfully rendered portrait of life in Calcutta before partition, Louise Brown has drawn on extensive experience of India, and her academic interest in sex trafficking in South Asia, to create a vivid and compelling read. With a deft touch, the city in all its noise, colour and smells comes to life on the page.” - Irish Independent [EDEN GARDENS]




Publication DetailsNotes




THE HIMALAYAN SUMMER is a spellbinding novel of the British Raj period, the quest to find a child, and a love story beyond boundaries - for all fans of Dinah Jefferies 'THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE and of Louise Brown's earlier novel, EDEN GARDENS.




Eden Gardens, Calcutta, the 1940s. In a ramshackle house, streets away from the grand colonial mansions of the British, live Maisy, her Mam and their ayah, Pushpa. Whiskey fuelled and poverty stricken, Mam entertains officers in the night - a disgrace to British India.
This is the other side of British India. Narrated in turn by Maisy and Pushpa, Eden Gardens is a vibrant portrait of the end of colonial India, and a beautifully written story of enduring love.


Publication DetailsNotes



(UK: A P Watt); US: Harpercollins; Dutch: Saffraan; German: Hoffmann & Campe; Swedish: Wahlstrom & Widstrand

THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE is a personal account describing life in Heera Mandi, the brothel quarter of the Old City of Lahore, Pakistan. It is a world where the contrasts between glamour and squalor, the comic and the tragic, and the unquenchable thirst for love and romance in the face of commercial sex have remained unchanged since Lahore’s pre-partition hey-day, when it was the great cultural centre of the north-west of the sub-continent.

Louise Brown’s enthralling narrative is based on time spent in Heera Mandi, and tells the story of her friendship with one family who for generations have raised their daughters to be professional courtesans. As the impact of social and economic modernization changes Lahore, she describes an aspect of life in the city unfamiliar to Western readers, and creates a vibrant and moving testament to a vanishing world.
The paperback of this book, published in July 2007, came with an added section bringing the family's story up to date.

Selected as the November 2020 pick for The Fearless Book Club by Nobel Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai.

THE DANCING GIRLS OF LAHORE is now optioned for film adaptation.

Awards/ Nominations:



Selected for the November 2020 pick for The Fearless Book Club by Nobel Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai.

2005 Finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Awards



Shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Goldsboro Debut Crown 2016