Eleven Minutes is a result of Paulo Coelho's chance reading of a manuscript left for him by a Brazilian prostitute while he was lecturing in Mantua, Italy. He then proceeded with his own research and eventually interviewed Maria (nom de guerre), whose story this book is based on.
Eleven Minutes talks about prostitution from the point of view of a woman who chose to be in it not because she like to do what is expected of her but because she could not find a good reason not to for she thought had lost all her chances of finding happiness in life. [More here]
I haven't heard of that book, but it sounds something like the Singaporean book on Chinese student prostitution - Wuya, by Jiu Dan - equally interesting too, if with perhaps less a less sympathetic plot and none of its mysterious origins - Wuya was an entirely kiss-and-tell novel exposing the double lives of China-born students in Singapore.
The title was inspired by the sight of a flock of crows at a Singapore beach: The birds with a bad rep reminded her of people suffering the same handicap. [Source]
I flipped through it briefly some years back - the English translation sounded rather disjointed and abrupt - I'd reckon that the nuances and expressions were not imparted the way it was intended to be as in the original Mandarin version. I wouldn't call it a beautiful piece of writing - it was a honest, if rather shocking and controversial story - certainly an eye opener for an innocent 19 year old ;)
I read Wuya at a Popular bookstore three years ago, but I reckon should be now widely available at all leading bookstores in Malaysia. graceshu # 9:22 PM