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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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« Margaret Jones' Diaries: the eco-saboteur connection | Main | Margaret Jones' Diaries: Nishani Frazier & Michael Kinsley »

March 07, 2008


nishani frazier

(sorry this is long, but i have to say it) I knew that story didnt sound right from the get-up. At the heart of this story is a telling revelation about how the view of black folk as the "other" engenders the ABSURD when it comes to perceptions about life in the black community.

For entertainment sake, I thought I would note a couple of reasons why anybody black would have known this story was bull shit:

1. Its Big mama , not big mom. Also well known terms in the black community include Ma-dear, mama-dear, Big ma (not used that often).

2. black women in the ghetto are not given white foster children - black foster children yes....because that's how "you people" live.....but not white foster children.

3. No child or teenager knows enough to buy a burial plot once you started running drugs. Instead, black children do what any group of children at that age would do with lots of money, and no savings account, 401K, or stock broker. They buy clothes, jewelry, electronics...I'm supposed to believe that the KEEN awareness of one young white girl about "ghetto life", led her to buy a burial plot...and that everybody else didnt bother? (p.s. I'm sure this story is chock full of details like this which illuminate how even in the face of being raised by "the other" - she was the exception- afterall, she was white. Which is why the publishers latched on to her like hungry leeches)

4.) If she lived in a black community, what funeral home director in the black community would accept money from a child for their own burial plot without letting "big mom" know?

5.) Not every black person cooks with pork or knows how to make buttermilk cornbread from scratch without measurement...which I'm sure is much to the shock of white america -- or atleast the NY Times writer who was so impressed. p.s. I know white women who can cook buttermilk cornbread without measurement. If you're that impressed, I'll pass their info along.

6.) She claims that she got a lot of this information while talking to kids, black panthers at starbucks- As a historian and a black person--- what kids are black panthers? Typical "other" observation...gangs, 1960s political organizations (black panthers), NAACP (my own personal throw in since she cant tell the difference)...same thing...whatever.

7.) These gangs/black panthers can be seen in their natural habitat--------Starbucks. No doubt before a day of drive-bys, they stop to get their lattes first.

and 8.) my favorite: You want me to believe that in order to verify your "hardcore" status to the publisher, you got what amounted to a recommendation letter from a gang leader.....lmao

The building blocks of racism are notions of exclusion and perceptions of people of different races as "the other". Thus all these folks can participate in the absurd formulations of black life in LA through a white girl's eyes who "lived the life" WITHOUT asking the questions which many black people would find obvious to ask....mostly because her story is just so damn stupid. Where were the black people? No where...not among the critics, not among the journalists, not among the publishing house...and most importantly people---- NOT in that book she wrote.

p.s. Finally, on a personal note. What kind of jacked up sister do you have, that she would blow up your spot like that? You cant call your sister before you decide to call the NY TImes?

Jil McIntosh

So did anyone actually see this "pit bull tattoo" on the esteemed author?


What Nishani said.
I'm seven pages into "Love and Consequences" and it's just jaw-droppingly... wrong. As in, one of the Blood's biggest and most successful OGs would spent a lot of time with an 8-year-old white foster girl, explaining the history of the Bloods; more, that he would say to her, "Be true to the game, live by her rules, and she will always bless you." And then, when said white girl was 12, would give her a "job" wherein she was responsible for checking out prospective drug buyers to make sure they weren't cops. 'Cuz, you know, the best person to do this is a white little girl. It's delusional. Also, the writing is pure writing-degree writing. It's fine, it moves, but there is zero soul. Then again, maybe I need to wait for the parts where people say, "Fo sho" and "Aiight homie."


No one knows if the sister called Peggy first. It's possible that the family is used to her spinning tall tales.

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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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