menu

Lot Six : A Memoir
by David Adjmi




Overview -
"David Adjmi has written one of the great American memoirs, a heartbreaking, hilarious story of what it means to make things up, including yourself. A wild tale of lack and lies, galling humiliations and majestic reinventions, this touching, coruscating joy of a book is an answer to that perennial question: how should a person be?" -- Olivia Laing, author of Crudo and The Lonely City

In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? In his grandly entertaining debut memoir, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art.

Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets--from Rastafarians to French preppies--David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand?

Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan's 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi's memoir is a genre bending K nstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi's search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.

  Read Full Product Description
 
local_shippingFor Delivery
In Stock.
FREE Shipping for Club Members help
 
storeBuy Online Pickup At Store
search store by zipcode

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 38 copies from $12.19
 
 
 
 

More About Lot Six by David Adjmi

 
 
 

Overview

"David Adjmi has written one of the great American memoirs, a heartbreaking, hilarious story of what it means to make things up, including yourself. A wild tale of lack and lies, galling humiliations and majestic reinventions, this touching, coruscating joy of a book is an answer to that perennial question: how should a person be?" -- Olivia Laing, author of Crudo and The Lonely City

In a world where everyone is inventing a self, curating a feed and performing a fantasy of life, what does it mean to be a person? In his grandly entertaining debut memoir, playwright David Adjmi explores how human beings create themselves, and how artists make their lives into art.

Brooklyn, 1970s. Born into the ruins of a Syrian Jewish family that once had it all, David is painfully displaced. Trapped in an insular religious community that excludes him and a family coming apart at the seams, he is plunged into suicidal depression. Through adolescence, David tries to suppress his homosexual feelings and fit in, but when pushed to the breaking point, he makes the bold decision to cut off his family, erase his past, and leave everything he knows behind. There's only one problem: who should he be? Bouncing between identities he steals from the pages of fashion magazines, tomes of philosophy, sitcoms and foreign films, and practically everyone he meets--from Rastafarians to French preppies--David begins to piece together an entirely new adult self. But is this the foundation for a life, or just a kind of quicksand?

Moving from the glamour and dysfunction of 1970s Brooklyn, to the sybaritic materialism of Reagan's 1980s to post-9/11 New York, Lot Six offers a quintessentially American tale of an outsider striving to reshape himself in the funhouse mirror of American culture. Adjmi's memoir is a genre bending K nstlerroman in the spirit of Charles Dickens and Alison Bechdel, a portrait of the artist in the throes of a life and death crisis of identity. Raw and lyrical, and written in gleaming prose that veers effortlessly between hilarity and heartbreak, Lot Six charts Adjmi's search for belonging, identity, and what it takes to be an artist in America.


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061990946
  • ISBN-10: 0061990949
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: June 2020
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

 

BookPage Reviews

Lot Six

The memoir of a gay New York playwright who grew up in a conservative Jewish community in Brooklyn might sound a bit niche, but David Adjmi’s Lot Six ushers readers into fundamental questions of identity, community and belonging. The writing is vibrant, edgy, scenic and exciting. The figures of Adjmi’s childhood—such as Howie, a brilliant outcast who befriends him in elementary school—come off the page as though the reader is meeting them in person. Adjmi also emerges as a sensitive and faithful—and funny!—narrator who is keen to notice his own reactions to particular moments and perceptive about how his early experiences fostered a kaleidoscopic inner life that informed both the formation of his identity and the art he would later make.

From his adoration of the gruesome musical Sweeney Todd to his alienation from the popular children at his elementary school, Adjmi moves on to chronicle his adolescent and high school years. He leaves behind the cultural and social confines of his community by attending an art school with only one friend from his neighborhood. Adjmi becomes almost ethnographically obsessed with observing the behavior of his peers—and he goes through some changes of his own, too, growing his hair into dreadlocks and attending a college in California against his counselor’s advice that the East Coast Sarah Lawrence might be a better fit. (He eventually transfers.)

Adjmi had always been a competent student, but his passions alight when he realizes he wants to write plays. His entrance to the cloistered, insulated world of New York theater showcases both his brilliance and his increasing contrariness. As Adjmi realizes who he is, he finds it harder to fill his teachers’ perceptions of what he should be. Ultimately—and fittingly—his first major professional success is a mashup of his own favorite plays and his memories of growing up queer in his Syrian Jewish community.

In all, Lot Six is about finding out who you really are and learning to, as Nietzsche famously wrote, “amor fati” (love your fate).

 

BAM Customer Reviews