Thursday, April 13
As much a flesh-and-blood parable of economics as an intimate memoir brimming with harsh introspection, intellectual reverie, and surprising evocations of sexuality—the way you handle money and the way you have sex are often mutually illuminating, the author writes—Lee Siegel’s youthful odyssey is for anyone who has tried to break through the barriers of family, class, and money to the freedom to choose his or her own path in life.
LEE SIEGEL is the author of five previous books and the recipient of a National Magazine Award. A widely published writer on politics and culture, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and their two children.
Early Praise for THE DRAW:
“In this powerful, jarring memoir, author and critic Siegel painstakingly maps the bitter familial legacies that shaped him . . . Eschewing the standard minimalism of the literary memoir, Siegel explores the psychological complexity of his family romance in layered prose, in particular the impossible demands of a mother who shrieks across the pages like a monstrous suburban hybrid of Joan Crawford and Blanche Dubois . . . Siegel’s strong focus on psychological depth rather than the visible remakes his familiar journey from American boy to man into something strange, disturbing, and wonderful.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A frank memoir of money and the man. Culture critic Siegel incisively explores his modest New Jersey upbringing, exposing more deeply the personal history he shared in a June 2015 New York Times op-ed piece, in which he confessed to defaulting on his student loans . . . Beautifully portraying his resulting masochistic ‘dedication to suffering’ as akin to a ‘Buddhist monk on fire,’ Siegel doesn’t hold back in baring his emotional scars . . . An unsparing, intimate reflection on the many ways money—or the lack thereof—can tear a family apart.”
“Siegel’s memoir is an introspective, honest look at his boyhood . . . It’s his mother and her “emotional combat” that overshadow everything; when she is present in the narrative, Siegel’s writing is its most effective and visceral . . . Anachronistic scenes, in an otherwise chronological telling of the author’s teens and twenties, combined with laid-bare writing, although jarring, have the effect of mimicking memory. A penetrating . . . look at the psychological effects of family and affluence.”
—Kathy Sexton, Booklist