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The Last Madam

Author : Chris Wiltz
ISBN : 9781497658509
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 83.22 MB
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The “raunchy, hilarious, and thrilling” true story of the incomparable Norma Wallace, proprietor of a notorious 1920s New Orleans brothel (NPR). Norma Wallace grew up fast. In 1916, at fifteen years old, she went to work as a streetwalker in New Orleans’ French Quarter. By the 1920s, she was a “landlady”—or, more precisely, the madam of what became one of the city’s most lavish brothels. It was frequented by politicians, movie stars, gangsters, and even the notoriously corrupt police force. But Wallace acquired more than just repeat customers. There were friends, lovers . . . and also enemies. Wallace’s romantic interests ran the gamut from a bootlegger who shot her during a fight to a famed bandleader to the boy next door, thirty-nine years her junior, who became her fifth husband. She knew all of the Crescent City’s dirty little secrets, and used them to protect her own interests—she never got so much as a traffic ticket, until the early 1960s, when District Attorney Jim Garrison decided to clean up vice and corruption. After a jail stay, Wallace went legitimate as successfully as she had gone criminal, with a lucrative restaurant business—but it was love that would undo her in the end. The Last Madam combines original research with Wallace’s personal memoirs, bringing to life an era in New Orleans history rife with charm and decadence, resurrecting “a secret world, like those uncovered by Luc Sante and James Ellroy” (Publishers Weekly). It reveals the colorful, unforgettable woman who reigned as an underworld queen and “capture[s] perfectly the essential, earthy complexity of the most fascinating city on this continent” (Robert Olen Butler).
Category: Biography & Autobiography


Author : Cari Lynn
ISBN : 9780142180624
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 29.42 MB
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Based on actual events, this rollicking ride through the Big Easy in 1897 follows Mary Deubler as she, through gumption, twists of fate and a touch of voodoo, rises above her fellow Alley Whores to become the notorious Madam Josie Arlington. Original. 75,000 first printing.
Category: Fiction

Out Of The Easy

Author : Ruta Sepetys
ISBN : 9781101607800
Genre : Young Adult Fiction
File Size : 32.30 MB
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“A haunting peek at the life of a teenage girl in 1950s New Orleans.”--Entertainment Weekly It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Young Adult Fiction

Spectacular Wickedness

Author : Emily Epstein Landau
ISBN : 9780807150160
Genre : History
File Size : 47.3 MB
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From 1897 to 1917 the red-light district of Storyville commercialized and even thrived on New Orleans's longstanding reputation for sin and sexual excess. This notorious neighborhood, located just outside of the French Quarter, hosted a diverse cast of characters who reflected the cultural milieu and complex social structure of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, a city infamous for both prostitution and interracial intimacy. In particular, Lulu White -- a mixed-race prostitute and madam -- created an image of herself and marketed it profitably to sell sex with light-skinned women to white men of means. In Spectacular Wickedness, Emily Epstein Landau examines the social history of this famed district within the cultural context of developing racial, sexual, and gender ideologies and practices. Storyville's founding was envisioned as a reform measure, an effort by the city's business elite to curb and contain prostitution -- namely, to segregate it. In 1890, the Louisiana legislature passed the Separate Car Act, which, when challenged by New Orleans's Creoles of color, led to the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896, constitutionally sanctioning the enactment of "separate but equal" laws. The concurrent partitioning of both prostitutes and blacks worked only to reinforce Storyville's libidinous license and turned sex across the color line into a more lucrative commodity. By looking at prostitution through the lens of patriarchy and demonstrating how gendered racial ideologies proved crucial to the remaking of southern society in the aftermath of the Civil War, Landau reveals how Storyville's salacious and eccentric subculture played a significant role in the way New Orleans constructed itself during the New South era.
Category: History

Mr New Orleans

Author : Matthew Randazzo V
ISBN : 0692237488
Genre :
File Size : 90.63 MB
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Wiseguys called him "the Keith Richards of the American Mafia" and JFK hero Jim Garrison denounced him as "one of the most notorious vice operators in the history of New Orleans" ... but you can just call him MR. NEW ORLEANS. Mr. New Orleans tells the incredible story of Frenchy Brouillette, a redneck Cajun teenager who stole his big brother's motorcycle and embarked on a 60-year vacation to New Orleans, where he became a legendary gangster and the underworld political fixer for his cousin, Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. Written by Crescent City native Matthew Randazzo V, the wickedly funny Mr. New Orleans is the first book to ever break the code of secrecy of the New Orleans Mafia Family, the oldest and most mysterious criminal secret society in America. "Mr. New Orleans is a rollicking, disturbing ride through the underbelly of a bygone New Orleans, lined with moments of dark, side-splitting hilarity. If you're a fan of James Lee Burke, drop what you're reading and pick this one up. In an era when popular wisdom tells us T.V. has stolen all depth from the literary true-crime narrative, Matthew Randazzo has found a way to beat that trend mightily; he's gone straight to the source and captured the singular, confounding voice of the New Orleans' mafia's top political fixer with fast-paced, riveting prose and a fine journalist's eye for detail." Chris Rice, New York Times Bestselling Author "Mr. New Orleans is a total knockout: Take everything you ever imagined about the sleazy good times to be had in New Orleans -- the sleazy good times capital of America -- and quadruple it, and you have a hint of what's inside these sticky pages." Bill Tonelli, Author of The Italian American Reader and Editor for Esquire and Rolling Stone

Shoot The Money

Author : Chris Wiltz
ISBN : 9781497655454
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 32.68 MB
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From the author of The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld comes an edgy novel, a racy gumbo of suspense, comedy, and sisters in crime. Karen and Raynie are roommates hiding from sticky pasts. When vengeful gangsters and old boyfriends descend, Karen can’t hide from the Miami thug who wants his money back, and Raynie’s would-be rapist gets a gun and goes on a rampage. To top it off, Karen’s boss, LaDonna, has a young lover with a new and dangerous idea. The three women unite to face the repercussions of the stolen money and the violence that ensues. From Mamou to Miami to New Orleans, money and friendship are at the heart of Shoot the Money as it explores women’s desires for big bucks. They see what money does to those who have it, lose it, pursue it, or steal it—and what happens when they try a little revenge on their rapid chase toward a better life. They’ve got the money, they’re smart, and they’re daring. And they’ve got a gun. They could whip it out and shoot somebody, but that would be way too easy.
Category: Fiction

New Orleans Mon Amour

Author : Andrei Codrescu
ISBN : 9781565127906
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 43.72 MB
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For two decades NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu has been living in and writing about his adopted city, where, as he puts it, the official language is dreams. How apt that a refugee born in Transylvania found his home in a place where vampires roam the streets and voodoo queens live around the corner; where cemeteries are the most popular picnic spots, the ghosts of poets, prostitutes, and pirates are palpable, and in the French Quarter, no one ever sleeps. Codrescu's essays have been called "satirical gems," "subversive," "sardonic and stunning," "funny," "gonzo," "wittily poignant," and "perverse"—here is a writer who perfectly mirrors the wild, voluptuous, bohemian character of New Orleans itself. This retrospective follows him from newcomer to near native: first seduced by the lush banana trees in his backyard and the sensual aroma of coffee at the café down the block, Codrescu soon becomes a Window Gang regular at the infamous bar Molly's on Decatur, does a stint as King of Krewe de Vieux Carré at Mardi Gras, befriends artists, musicians, and eccentrics, and exposes the city’s underbelly of corruption, warning presciently about the lack of planning for floods in a city high on its own insouciance. Alas, as we all now know, Paradise is lost. New Orleans, Mon Amour is an epic love song, a clear-eyed elegy, a cultural celebration, and a thank-you note to New Orleans in its Golden Age.
Category: Fiction

Empire Of Sin

Author : Gary Krist
ISBN : 9780770437077
Genre : History
File Size : 81.52 MB
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From bestselling author Gary Krist, a vibrant and immersive account of New Orleans’ other civil war, at a time when commercialized vice, jazz culture, and endemic crime defined the battlegrounds of the Crescent City Empire of Sin re-creates the remarkable story of New Orleans’ thirty-years war against itself, pitting the city’s elite “better half” against its powerful and long-entrenched underworld of vice, perversity, and crime. This early-20th-century battle centers on one man: Tom Anderson, the undisputed czar of the city's Storyville vice district, who fights desperately to keep his empire intact as it faces onslaughts from all sides. Surrounding him are the stories of flamboyant prostitutes, crusading moral reformers, dissolute jazzmen, ruthless Mafiosi, venal politicians, and one extremely violent serial killer, all battling for primacy in a wild and wicked city unlike any other in the world.
Category: History

New Orleans Mourning

Author : Julie Smith
ISBN : 9780804107389
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 87.78 MB
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When the smiling King of Carnival is killed at Mardi Gras, policewoman Skip Langdon is on the case. She knows the upper-crust family of the victim and that it hides more than its share of glittering skeletons. But nothing could prepare her for the tangled web of clues and ancient secrets that would mean danger for her--and doom for the St. Amants.... "Smith is a gifted writer." THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Category: Fiction

Intimate Enemies

Author : Christina Vella
ISBN : 9780807129623
Genre : History
File Size : 55.11 MB
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Born into wealth in New Orleans in 1795 and married into misery fifteen years later, the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba led a life ripe for novelization. Intimate Enemies, however, is the spellbinding true account of this resilient woman's life -- and the three men who most affected its course. Immediately upon marrying Célestin de Pontalba, Micaela was removed to his family's estate in France. For twenty years her father-in-law attempted to drive her to abandon Célestin; by law he could then seize control of her fortune. He tried dozens of strategies, including at one point instructing the entire Pontalba household to pretend she was invisible. Finally, in 1834, the despairing elder Pontalba trapped Micaela in a bedroom and shot her four times before turning his gun on himself. Miraculously, she survived. Five years later, after securing both a separation from Célestin and legal power over her wealth, Micaela focused her attention on building, following in the footsteps of her late, illustrious father, Andrés Almonester. Her Parisian mansion, the Hôtel Pontalba, is today the official residence of the American embassy in France; and her Pontalba Buildings, which flank Jackson's Square in New Orleans, form together with her father's St. Louis Cathedral, Presbytere, and Cabildo one of the loveliest architectural complexes in America. As for Célestin, he eventually suffered a total physical and mental breakdown and begged Micaela to return. She did so, caring for him for the next twenty-three years until her death in 1874. In Intimate Enemies, Christina Vella embroiders the compelling story of the Almonester-Pontalba alliance against a richly woven background of the events and cultures of two centuries and two vivid societies. She provides a window into the yellow fever epidemics that raged in New Orleans; the rebuilding of Paris, the Paris Commune uprising, and the Second Empire of Napoleon III; European ideas of power, class, money, marriage, and love during the baroness' lifetime and their inflection in the New World setting of New Orleans; medical treatments, legal procedures, imperial court life, banking practices, and much more. Combining the historian's meticulous research with the biographer's exacting knowledge of her subject and the novelist's gift for narrative, Vella has crafted a rare cross-genre work that will capture the imagination and admiration of every reader.
Category: History