would you do if your sole means of support was going to be deemed
illegal? In 1897, Mary Deubler faced this problem, finding a way not
only to survive but to thrive by complying with the morality regulations
of New Orleans. She moved her business to Storyville.
I come from a long line of whores.—Madam: A Novel of New Orleans by Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin (Penguin Random House / Plume, 2014, prologue, uncorrected proof)
In my nine decades on this earth I have never uttered these words, let alone seen them written, in my own hand, indelibly staring back at me. But now, as a summer storm rages strong enough to send the Pontchartrain right through my front door, I sit with a curious sense of peace and clarity. My past is more than just my own history. Although this story shames me in so many ways, it is the legacy I leave. I must embrace the very truth I spent my life denying.
- Setting: Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, at the turn of the twentieth century
- Circumstances: Common prostitute Mary Deubler's transformation into the successful and powerful Madam Josie Arlington
- Characters: Mary/Josie; her brother & his wife; voodoo queens & underworld figures; morality crusaders; fellow whores; musicians, actresses, & politicians
- Genre & themes: historical fiction; period details (food, drink, music); politics; morality; race relations; women's choices
- Miscellaneous: based on a true story; book contains period photos, postcards, and broadsheets; well researched
- Authors: Cari Lynn is a journalist and nonfiction writer; Kellie Martin is an actress and television writer
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