Kirsti's Reviews > The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld

The Last Madam by Christine Wiltz
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's review
Mar 11, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, business, history
Read in January, 2006

"You know, in another life, under other circumstances, I might have been a captain of industry. What the hell—maybe I was." —Norma Wallace, who ran whorehouses in New Orleans and elsewhere for over 40 years

Norma Wallace turned her hardscrabble existence into a glamorous (though tension-filled) life. She said with complete seriousness, "My girls had to be of the highest moral caliber," which to her meant that they could not take drugs, rob customers, or try to extort money from anyone. Also, their bras and panties had to match--apparently that's a classier look.

Wallace married five times, and her last husband was young enough to be her grandson. This is a fascinating story, although the chronology is confusing at times. Also, there's no index, so it's easy to lose track of the minor players.
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