LITERATURE

Lot Six: A Memoir

Harper. Jun. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780061990946. $27.99. LIT
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In an author’s note in this first memoir, Guggenheim fellow and Whiting Award– winning dramatist Adjmi admits that for this account he has changed the names of family and friends because memoirs, unlike biographies, do not need to reflect the lives written about exactly. Rather, these accounts should convey the essence of the memoirist’s experience, feelings, and thoughts while tracing significant life events. Adjmi, who grew up in a Syrian Jewish family in Brooklyn, began his search for belonging at a young age. Moving away from the cultural traditions of his family, he gravitated toward an eclectic world of art, books, plays, and musicals. He studied the works of the great philosophers as well as fashion magazines and foreign films, all of which would contribute to shaping the artist he would become. His vivid prose heightens a narrative that explores his search for meaning and the often challenging road to his success as an artist in America.
VERDICT Highly recommended; this revealing memoir takes us beyond the facts of Adjmi’s life to probe his quest for identity and his rise as a prominent playwright and author.

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