Norma Wallace, New Orleans' Last Madam: Background information when reading Out of The Easy

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Out of The Easy

by Ruta Sepetys

Out of The Easy
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 352 pages
    Mar 2014, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Norma Wallace, New Orleans' Last Madam

In an interview about her new book, Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys describes finding a different book, one that blew her away. She was out in the rain once and had ducked into a bookstore to keep from getting wet, when she saw the book The Last Madam: Life in the New Orleans Underworld by Christine Wiltz. She bought and read the book in one sitting. "The Last Madam" was Norma Wallace, a powerful madam who ran a brothel in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Sepetys was mesmerized. Years later, she was able to go to Wiltz's house, spend the day with her, and learn all about the New Orleans underworld that was home to Norma Wallace. She said she couldn't have written Out of the Easy without this book or Wiltz. Willie Woodley, the madam who runs the brothel in Sepetys' book is based on Norma Wallace.

Norma Wallace, the Last Madam of New Orleans Norma Baden, as she was originally named, was born in 1901 – most likely. (She never told anyone her real age and constantly took years off when she did talk about it. Even her ...

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