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Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers

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Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers

Current Status:
In Season
Katy Lederer

We gave it a B

The title turns out to be a tell: Lederer maintains a frustrating emotional opacity as she plays a memoirist’s hand about growing up as a Jewish faculty kid at a WASPy New Hampshire boarding school. She writes about her hard-drinking mother who split to be an actress in New York, and about her poker-stud brother who moved to Las Vegas for the action, and the sister who followed to do the same, trailed, eventually, by the author, too — a disjointed family held together by a mania for Lady Luck. A poet, Lederer has a professional eye for descriptive detail but tends to fold rather than reveal her feelings about the colorful deck of stories life has dealt her.