ZERO SUM GAME, A Memoir By Nancy Tengler

ZERO SUM GAME is an  80,000 word memoir that provides a peek into the lush and swampy world of big money.  Though the narrator’s childhood was nearly drowned in her father’s inexhaustible bottle of scotch–because of him, or perhaps, in spite of him–she manages to amass a net worth of over $25 million and become president and major shareholder of a thriving investment management firm before her thirtieth birthday…only to lose it all before her 35th.  ZERO SUM is a cautionary business tale of a mentor and protege relationship gone terribly wrong.  Set in the 1980’s and 90’s against the glamorous backdrops of San Francisco and Wall Street, the narrative chronicles the meteoric rise of an ambitious young woman professional under the tutelage of the firm’s brilliant but quirky Chief Executive Officer–in many ways, the father she never had.  Eventually her public profile expands beyond her mentor’s shadow and their once lucrative partnership detonates into an epic court battle with a zero sum outcome;  a winner takes all exchange in which she comes up empty. The pair meets up years later, her old colleague and enemy now paralyzed from a fall that severed his spinal cord is the victim of a rare, degenerative disease, bedridden and unable to speak.  The narrator is forced to confront their joined past and discovers an unexpected transformative treasure in the process.


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