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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: people are still talking | Main | Margaret Jones' Diaries: Publishers Weekly gets it »

March 09, 2008



JT LeRoy wasn't a memoirist, but Sayre's already said that he doesn't know, or care, about the difference; using his yardstick,The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right, who dare insist on 'documentary truth'?
Oh snap! Excellent analogy there. It's amazing to me how little the Oregonian is choosing to touch this, I think it made part of the Metro section one day and that's it.
Now if only she had included some wisdome about ferrets she had learned from the native Americans it would be the ultimate classic for the ages...oh wait, different plagerist :)


Chris, the Oregonian did a front-page story mid-week and a Sunday essay as well. The Eugene Reg-Guard did one story, ran a wire report, and then printed Prof. Sayre's ludicrous essay on Sunday.

What interested me was that both Oregon papers (unlike the L.A. Times or Mediabistro) managed to suggest that there was something unseemly about bloggers and others digging into this story, something vaguely distasteful about it. Ultimately, of course, it says more about the state of journalism in the area, and how "Oregon nice" has crept into the discourse there.

It also reminds me of that case in Vancouver where the woman killed her "chronically ill" daughter and then herself; the Oregonian, the Tribune, and all the TV stations did stories on the tragedy of it all. Nancy Rommelmann actually went to Vancouver, asked around, found that it was actually a case of Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy, and did a bangup cover story for Willamette Week. I was left with the impression that most media outlets in Oregon find it impertinent to pry, which is, of course, antithetical to the very notion of journalism.


Well, don't jump too quickly to point out the LAT's digging. While Seltzer's hometown paper has printed about 5 columns and an editorial on the story, the "news reporting" has been pretty thin--one quote from her mom. No former teachers, no former classmates, and not much from the 'hood, although Sandy Banks did some shoe leather work. Oregon nice is a cultural phenomenon, but never underestimate the power of "google bait" for the MSM.


Ok, well I guess I only caught one story in the metro section - maybe because I get the first edition in the AM it wasn't on the front - from looking over it they seemed to be portraying her in a sympathetic light - not as the liar she should have been called out as.
And i do remember the article in the WW about the Vancouver lady. Also wanted to give you bonus points for the Mercury comment about them not caring what happens off of E. Burnside!

Jil McIntosh

"The more intimate or psychological the events recounted — of childhood trauma, of addiction, of religious conversion, or even of racial identity — the more ludicrous it is for readers to insist upon documentary truth."

Y'know, I never thought I'd live long enough to see the day when I'd mistake a professor's statement for that of a failing student.


Well not sure what I read...the link you have to the Oregonian isn't the article I remember, maybe I'm remembering an original piece before the truth was told? Or I just need more vicodin?

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Favorite Comments:
The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right

and.... Y'know, I never thought I'd live long enough to see the day when I'd mistake a professor's statement for that of a failing student.

lmao---these quotes are classic. Although I am phento-typically African American - if i tell a klan member that I'm actually whie, does this mean I wont get my assed whipped?

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"Actually, 'ludicrous' is when a literature professor prefers documentary truthiness to documentary truth. What kind of education are those U of O kids getting for their parents' money, anyway?"

A very valid point, my favorite out of many in the article! Great job with this one :)

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"using his yardstick,The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right, who dare insist on 'documentary truth'? "

Very well-put point here! :)

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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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