Dana Czapnik’s debut, a 1990s New York-set novel of love, basketball, art, feminism and youthful dreams, is a new coming-of-age classic.
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An iBooks Book of the Year 2019, ‘Our favourite debut … a glorious, empowering, coming of age NY story.’
‘An electric debut’ New York Times
‘Exhilarating’ Claire Messud
‘Deeply affecting’ Salman Rushdie
Seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler, a street-smart, trash-talking baller, is often the only girl on the public courts. Lucy’s inner life is a contradiction. She’s by turns quixotic and cynical, insecure and self-possessed and, despite herself, is in unrequited love with her best friend and pick-up teammate Percy, son of a prominent New York family who is trying to resist his upper crust fate.
As Lucy questions accepted notions of success, bristling against her own hunger for male approval, she is drawn into the world of a pair of provocative female artists living in what remains of New York’s bohemia.
In her hit US debut, Dana Czapnik memorably captures the voice of a young woman in the first flush of freedom searching for an authentic way to live and love.
Another book I raced through . . . it's completely gorgeous, and I really, really hope it makes an impact here . .. such a fresh take on the coming-of-age story. Absolutely filled with beautiful, quotable lines, my copy is covered with pencil.
The moments when Lucy, the book's narrator, is shooting hoops offer some of the liveliest sports writing in fiction. Yet the real joy of this coming-of-age story derives from inhabiting such a nuanced 17-year-old, who vividly captures the hubris and insecurity of youth . . . a love-letter to the dynamism of New York . . . a winning tale about the often-painful alchemy of adolescence, which transforms the misadventures of youth into something like wisdom.
Once in a while a character comes along that gives voice to our own lives, our own heads and a chafing for something more: The Falconer’s teenage heroine Lucy Adler is IT . . . With a voice that’ll make you want to tear through its 274 pages, Adler’s sweet discoveries of feminism and self-belief are a joy to behold while its last line (don’t peek) is worth getting tattooed on your wrist. Don’t miss it.
Czapnik’s prose is fast-paced and often intriguing [and] captures the inner voice of an American teenager.
The Falconer is a novel of huge heart and fierce intelligence. It has restored my faith in pretty much everything.
[An] electric debut novel… Reader, beware: Spending time with Lucy is unapologetic fun, and heartbreak, and awe as well.
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