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  • I'm a writer, journalist, and the editor of The Gambit, the alt-weekly newspaper in New Orleans.

    Journalism: My work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Globe & Mail (Canada), The Times- Picayune (New Orleans), The Oregonian, and Willamette Week, as well as in magazines including Details, Vogue, Publishers Weekly, and Portland Monthly.

    Publishing: Tight Shot, my first novel, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Its sequel, Hot Shot, was roundly ignored by everyone, but was a far better book. I'm also a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

    Stage: I was a member of the Groundlings and Circle Repertory West in Los Angeles, and am a playwright (see "Stage" in the right-hand rail).


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January 28, 2008



Sign me up, Ms. Finch. Twice a week I get a free local fishwrap that's some 40 pages, but if you condense all the real news, it would fill three.

I might not even mind so much if they actually got it ON the driveway, but I live in the country, and have a ditch and culvert. Three-quarters of the papers land in the ditch (the delivery guy throws them out of his car window as he drives by), right into the puddle of water that collects there.

My neighbor has a circular driveway, and he gets a paper thrown into each end. The delivery guy apparently can't figure out that both ends belong to the same house.


Up here in Portland a journalist I know calls them "porch spam" and has been asking the very same questions.

I'm all for regulating them. I did call up my local paper and contacted them directly, telling them very clearly telling if they dumped newspapers in my bushes again (they loved to miss my porch for some reason) I would not only file a nuisance complaint against them with the city for trespassing and littering, I would mobilize others as well. Although they told me "there was nothing they could do" for some reason the papers stopped coming. At one point there was also talk for a "newspaper drive" where people save them up (plastic bags and all) and then rent a truck (a weekly newspaper wanted to sponsor it) and then we would dump them en-masse back at the newspapers headquarters.

Also, can we add phone books to this list? Those 20 pound door stops have been sitting on my porch since November.


Amen to that. And speaking of which four (still in plastic) phone books are at the end of my apartment landing, by the time they got to the third floor they were too lazy to drop one at every door and just left them at the end of the hallway, where undoubtedly I'll have to take and drop them in the recycle bin as otherwise they'll rot there.


RIGHT ON!!! I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia and this issue is a nightmare! This is not only an environmental waste but a threat to the security of homeowners. It raises the red flag that no one is home and aids vandalism, theft and robbery.

Alex Ireland

Great tip Kevin. You can sign up (for free) to opt out from getting telephone books dropped on your front porch at

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  • Booklist:
    "A worthy successor to Tight Shot, Allman's insider view of the seamier side of Hollywood is not only hip and entertaining but also has something serious to say about our insatiable hunger for tabloid thrills."

    Washington Post:
    "Barbed, breezy and often pretty and entertaining. Allman can be very funny, and Hot Shot complements nicely the less forgiving takes on Los Angeles as the future of us all. "



    "Allman turns a very sardonic pen loose on Hollywood's glitz-and-glamour crowd in this entertaining first novel... An impressive debut and an almost sure thing for a sequel."

    New Orleans Times-Picayune:
    "Allman clearly knows those of whom he writes. He's got L.A. nailed."

    Publishers Weekly:
    "Snappy debut... Readers will look for a sequel."


    A French Quarter convenience-store clerk has a hilariously traumatic encounter with a pair of Shreveport tourists. Part of Native Tongues 3 (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2001; Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; 2006).
    An upper-class black caterer finds comeuppance and redemption. Part of Native Tongues 4 (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2005).
  • MY-O-MY
    A recreation of an evening at the notorious New Orleans 1950s female-impersonator nightclub My-O-My (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2005).
    A lonely man discovers purpose when he intercepts a televangelist's letters from his neighbor's mailbox. Part of the Dramarama New Plays Festival (Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; 2004).
    A black father discovers that no good deed goes unpunished when he helps his white neighbor bail her son out of Orleans Parish Prison. (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2004; Walker Percy Southern Playwrights Festival, Covington; 2007).
    An evening of comedies. In The Stud Mule, the world's richest woman arranges to be impregnated by a doltish escort; in Snatching Victory, an earnest college student runs afoul of her lecherous professor and the dour head of a women's-studies department (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2003).


  • Patty Friedmann: <i>A Little Bit Ruined</i>

    Patty Friedmann: A Little Bit Ruined
    One of the first post-Katrina novels, and probably destined to be one of the best. Friedmann's sequel to Eleanor Rushing finds her crazy heroine still holding everything together after the storm (after a fashion), until she has to leave New Orleans and she falls apart physically as well as mentally. Mordantly, morbidly funny.

  • Tom Piazza: <i>Why New Orleans Matters</i>

    Tom Piazza: Why New Orleans Matters
    The best post-Katrina book I've read. In 150 small pages, Piazza explicates the New Orleans experience simply and beautifully. I'll be passing this one on to anyone who wonders "But why would anyone want to live there?".


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