Bravo to Sandra Adell for having the courage to put a human face on the gambling industry's best customer the slot machine addict. From a safe distance, we watch as Adell falls prey to the deceptive and covert technology purposely engineered into modern-day slot machines. Sandra Adell is as unlikely a slot machine addict as anyone might imagine smart, sophisticated and accomplished. Yet her experience mirrors that of so many hundreds of thousands who continue to find their lives inexplicably spiraling out of control at the hands of a product marketed as entertainment, and often promoted by State governments as a revenue generator though her descriptions of her beloved Detroit would seem to refute the industry's promise as an effective economic engine. --Mary Tufts, Director, United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts
Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen is a moving exploration of how a highly educated, Black woman descended into the depths of an addiction to slot machines and then climbed back out. With courage and clarity, Adell probes the connections between her difficult youth, her inspiring climb out of the Detroit ghetto of the 1960s to a tenured professorship and an acting career in mid-life, and then, following a deeply personal loss, her descent into gambling addiction. Adell s personal narrative makes the costs of the expansion of casino gambling in America real in ways that academic studies cannot often achieve. --Rachel Volberg, President, Gemini Research, Ltd.
The perennial human dream of beating the odds, of outfoxing chance and Lady Fortune, has routinely stirred excitement and sometimes raw passion but much less often has it garnered close meditation and measured introspection. . . . Sandra Adell s memoir, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen, supplies a new and welcome twist on the time-worn cliches of gambling confessionals, first because her double identity as African American and woman destabilize our conventional starting assumptions about such narratives, and second because the insights drawn from her professional vocation scholar and critic create loops of investigative and psychological introspection otherwise unexpected. . . . Significant portions of Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen confront a backdrop of urban decline and the ongoing destruction of her native black Detroit . . . where she sees the central corridor of the city s institutional life gradually engulfed by riots and blight and casino glare. --John S. Wright, Morse-Amoco Distinguished Teaching Professor of African American & African Studies and English, University of Minnesota
About the Author
Sandra Adell is a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and has published books and articles on African American literature and culture. She also is an actor and commercial print model. A native of Detroit, she resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois. A single parent, she has three children and three grandchildren.