While studying at the Yale Divinity School, Jeanette Angell DIV ’87 considered converting to the Episcopalian Church and becoming a priest. But when her job as a college lecturer in Boston left bills unpaid and creditors calling, Angell found a less than angelic solution — working as a $200-an-hour callgirl.

Angell’s recounting of her three years as a prostitute — simply titled “Callgirl” — hit the shelves in August. The book is a blunt, unapologetic chronicle of the highs and lows of the world’s oldest profession.

Most of the book consists simply of anecdotes. There are funny stories: the cross-dresser who mainly wanted Angell to help him squeeze into her clothes. There are terrifying stories: Angell’s desperate fight with an abusive client. And there are heartbreaking stories: a friend of many years who offered Angell counsel, only to later proposition her for sex.

Angell writes the memoir with a defiant, I-dare-you-to-call-me-a-hooker style, confronting those who would feel superior to workers in the sex trade. At times she sounds downright arrogant, as when she describes sitting down at a blackjack table at Foxwoods Casino.

“It became immediately clear that the men all wanted me and the women all hated me,” Angell writes. “Par for the course.”

On the phone however, the 48-year old — who now has a husband and stepchildren — is warm and motherly. She laughs nervously and apologizes for rambling. She doesn’t sound like a prostitute, and that’s part of her point.

“We are neither sex-obsessed nor nymphomaniacal,” Angell writes. “We have relationships, we build trust, and we keep secrets. We are daughters, sisters, and mothers; we are wives.”

Life as a callgirl does not conflict with her divinity school education, Angell said, since she does not consider prostitution immoral.

“Spirituality was important in my life when I was working as a callgirl,” she said. “I wanted to do something that I could live with, and there are a lot of ways of making money I couldn’t have lived with … I saw myself as doing something that’s good for people.”

University Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge said he had not heard of the book or Angell, and declined to comment on her individually. But he expressed doubt that prostitution is consistent with the teaching of the divinity school.

“There are responsible and irresponsible ways to use one’s sexuality and this seems to me to be an irresponsible way to use one’s sexual gifts,” Attridge said.

Angell said she would never recommend that anyone consider prostitution as their first option — the author herself took the job only after her boyfriend ran off with all her savings. Drug abuse is rampant, she said, and once in the profession, it is difficult to escape the allure of making hundreds of dollars for an hour’s work. But, she said she does not regret her decisions, and knows many women who use prostitution to pay for college.

“It’s really the ideal college job. I hate to say this, but its true,” Angell said. “It’s the perfect way to get through school because you have a minimum of time commitment for a maximum of money … Let’s face it, you can work at Barnes and Noble or at 7-11 or something for $8 an hour.”

After three years of writing “Callgirl,” Angell said she spent two years shopping around her book for a publisher.

“It’s too literary for pornography, and it’s got too much pornography in it for literature,” she said.

Finally, Angell sold her book to the Permanent Press, a small publisher, which did a first printing of about 5,000 copies.

“We have hopes that it may be our bestseller,” said Maureen Dhaene, managing editor at the Permanent Press, “It’s a compelling story.”

Dhaene said the company has never seen so much interest in one of their books. Angell filmed a segment on her life with Oprah Winfrey last week, and “Dateline” producers have expressed interest in interviewing her, Dhaene said.

Angell said there has been talk of turning her life story into a movie. She is also working on a sequel, “Madam,” about the woman who ran the callgirl service. The book is due out in April.

After that, Angell said she would like to stop writing about her former life.

“My passion and my desire is to do mostly fiction,” Angell said. “I don’t want to be a professional ex-prostitute.”