Melissa Gira Grant

Melissa Gira Grant is a writer and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Glamour, the Guardian, the Nation, Wired, and the Atlantic. She is also a contributing editor to Jacobin. Her website is


  • Verso at the 2014 Left Forum: Panels and a Launch Party!

    Verso Books is proud to represent once again at this year's Left Forum. The conference, which will take place May 30-June 1, will bring together some of the most important contemporary leftist activists and scholars. 

    To ring in the weekend, catch two Verso authors at the Friday evening plenaryMarina Sitrin, author of They Can't Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, and Stanley Aronowitz, author of the forthcoming Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers' Movement, who will join Cornel West and Immortal Technique to consider "Why Revolution Now? What Revolution Now?" The discussion will be moderated by Amy Goodman. 

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  • Melissa Gira Grant debates sex work with Mary Honeyball on Channel 4 News

    In a report published in March in the UK, MPs and peers argued that women working as prostitutes should no longer be criminalized, while their clients and pimps should be. In other words, buying sex would become illegal, but selling sex would no longer be a criminal offence. Mary Honeyball MEP is one of the primary advocates for this move. She joined Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, on Channel 4 News for a heated debate over the merits of what is commonly referred to as the 'Nordic model'. 

    Grant is in firm opposition to this approach of criminalizing sex work, arguing that in Sweden, where it has been in law since 1999:

    "There are reports of sex workers facing increased violence on the streets... [and] it still puts sex workers in an adversarial relationship with the police. As long as their work is considered criminal, it can't actually be considered real work. I think the bottom line for me is: sex workers aren't 
    supporting these proposals that are currently in front of the UK, or those in front of the European Parliament – in fact they stand quite opposed to these measures."

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  • Roundup: Melissa Gira Grant's Playing the Whore is shaping the debate about sex work

    Melissa Gira Grant's book Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work part of Verso's Jacobin series to be released this monthhas been receiving some much-deserved media attention for how it radically reframes the current debate about sex work.

    You can get a sense of the book by starting with this exctract that appeared in the Nation. In it, Grant introduces her nuanced argument that sex work is a form of work, one that demands political attention, but which need not be idealized:

    To insist that sex workers only deserve rights at work if they have fun, if they love it, if they feel empowered by it is exactly backward. It’s a demand that ensures they never will.

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