Patty Friedmann, New Orleans fiction author and Hurricane Katrina survivor... Except for education and natural disasters, I've always lived in New Orleans. That's the only part of my bio anyone needs to know. As a writer, I need to be here to hear the voices on the streets-and, yes, in my head. My work is darkly comical, and New Orleans is an engaging old lady in every story, a beauty past her prime who still looks in mirrors, unaware that she's ravaged, even now, too preoccupied with her looks ever to have taken care of her goofy children. I don't write about the New Orleans others limn, the political posturing, the accents with no final g's, the Mardi Gras beads hanging from rearview mirrors. Mine is the world of Confederacy of Dunces. The storm lifted the board and showed the termites underneath here, but I'm still not sure anybody gets us. We're the only city in the world with a collective sense of humor and irony, and that's all anyone needs to know when reading one of my books.