One particular alluring figure turns up use of teen prostitution in literature the Christian story of sin, redemption and resurrection recounted in the frescoes of medieval western art. Mary Magdalene, the former prostitute, recognisable by her rippling yellow hair and red cloak, kneels at the foot of the cross, weeping. A mythical figure conflated from three different characters in the Gospels, she also turns up in the Apocrypha. Renaissance painters loved her. Their images ostensibly defend Christian notions of chaste female sanctity, but simultaneously celebrate the seductiveness of beauty. Thirty years ago, similarly inspired, I wrote my novel The Wild Girlclaiming Mary Magdalene as a prophet, the author of a fifth Gospel.