Acclaimed playwright and winner of the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship considers his adolescence as a Syrian Jew in Brooklyn and the cultural figures - from Jean Paul Gaultier to Alfred Hitchcock to Friedrich Nietzsche - who impressed and influenced his development and his dreams.
In a memoir that is as entertaining as it is poignant, David Adjmi chronicles his evolution from an impressionable kid growing up in Brooklyn after its heyday (and before its rebirth) to successful playwright and leading light in the 21st-century New York theater scene.
Born in the early 1970s, Adjmi was raised in an insular Syrian Jewish community, educated in an orthodox Jewish yeshivah, and felt displaced in all of it. He sought refuge in the pop culture of the 1980s: from prime-time soap operas like Dallas, to Broadway musicals like Sweeney Todd, to the explosion of fashion and art in a city undergoing an explosive renaissance. These influences helped shape the man he wanted to be.
In sharply observed prose that is both witty and heartbreaking, Adjmi reveals how he came to accept his burgeoning homosexuality, found his unique voice as a writer, and came to terms with his origins. While his path has not always easy, Adjmi acknowledges that the hardships and achievements have made him the artist he is today. As he looks back at his life, Adjmi reflects on the meaning of community, sexuality, art, and pop culture in terms of how they influenced the shaping of his identity as an artist and a human being.