Sunday, August 24, 2003

Poker Face

Here is an excerpt from Katy Lederer's novel Poker Face:

“This was as close as the family ever got, and so, even though the lot of us were violently competitive (if Annie lost a game, she’d throw cards; and if Howard lost, he’d glare as if you’d insulted his deepest, most delicate part, then slink around the kitchen table like a very proud cat), the atmosphere would seem to me incomparably congenial. Somewhere along the line I’d gotten it into my head that the playing of games was the same thing as civility and that friendly competition was the closest thing to love we’d ever know.”

Now check out: Book Review: Katy Lederer's Poker Face, written by Greg Dinkin and it appears in the current issue of Card Player Magazine. From what I read from the review and the excerpt, the book seems really good. Katy Lederer is the youngest sister of professional poker players Howard Lederer and Annie Duke, whom were both featured on ESPN's coverage of the 2003 World Series of Poker.

Here's a bit of the book review: "While I don’t know Howard Lederer and Annie Duke well, like most poker players, I know enough about them to want to know more. Aside from playing at the highest limits in cash games and having impressive tournament results, their very nature makes them compelling characters. Howard’s erudite style, critiquing hands and writing voluminous essays on RGP, has brought his poker intellect to the masses. Readers will be fascinated to learn about Howard as a youngster, including his fiercely competitive chess matches with his dad, his futile but thoughtful efforts to curb his mother’s drinking, and his time in New York as a homeless late teen. Annie’s character as a child isn’t as well developed in the book as her older brother’s, but you still get a glimpse of how the middle child in the Lederer family evolved into an aggressive poker player who never had any problem blending in with the boys — and taking their money.

Ultimately, this is a book about family. The author’s father, Richard Lederer, spend most of his adult life teaching English at an old-money prep school in New Hampshire called St. Paul’s. The middle-class family lived on campus, which raised issues for the kids of blending in with their more snobbish peers. When Katy started high school and began to live in the school’s student dorms, she got a taste of New England old money. From debutante balls at the Waldorf-Astoria to chronic anorexia and bulimia, she does an amazing job of taking the reader inside the living quarters at St. Paul’s and showing how it isn’t always easy for young women who seemingly have all the advantages in life."

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