1916: Norma Wallace, age 15, arrived in New Orleans. Sexy and shrewd, she quickly went from streetwalker to madam and by 1920 had opened what became a legendary house of prostitution. There she entertained a steady stream of governors, gangsters, and movie stars until she was arrested at last in 1962. Shortly before she died in 1974, she tape-recorded her memories. With those tapes and original research, Christine Wiltz chronicles Norma's rise and fall with the social history of New Orleans.
"In the Ruins" by Nicholas Lemann; "Under Water" by David Remnick; "On the Roof" by Dan Baum; "Porch Duty" by Dan Baum; "Home Alone" by Christine Wiltz; "Swing Shift" by Jeffrey Toobin; "A Cloud of Dust" by John Updike; and "Partners" by David Denby.