“The intricacies of family and the complexities of the games they play mingle wonderfully here in a memoir quite unlike any other.”—George Plimpton, author of Truman Capote
Katy Lederer grew up on the bucolic campus of an exclusive East Coast boarding school where her father taught English, her mother retreated into crosswords and scotch, and her much older siblings played “grown-up” games like gin rummy and chess. But Katy faced much more than the typical trials of childhood. Within the confines of the Lederer household an unlikely transformation was brewing, one that would turn this darkly intellectual and game-happy group into a family of professional gamblers.
Poker Face is Katy Lederer’s perceptive account of her family’s lively history. From the long kitchen table where her mother played what seemed an endless game of solitaire, to the seedy New York bars where her brother first learned to play poker, to the glamorous Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, where her sister and brother wager hundreds of thousands of dollars a night at the tables, Lederer takes us on a tragicomic journey through a world where intelligence and deceit are used equally as currency. Not since Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood has a writer cast such a witty and astringently analytic eye on the demands of growing up.
An unflinching exploration of trust and betrayal, competition, suspicion, and unconventional familial love, Poker Face is a testament to the human spirit’s inventiveness when faced with unusually difficult odds.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Crown/Archetype, February 2010
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