- About the Book
A New York Times Editor's Choice Pick O, The Oprah Magazine Reading Room #1 Pick for March " An] electric debut novel... Reader, beware: Spending time with Lucy is unapologetic fun, and heartbreak, and awe as well." --Chloe Malle, New York Times Book Review "The Falconer is a novel of huge heart and fierce intelligence. It has restored my faith in pretty much everything." --Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth New York, 1993. 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, scion of a prominent New York family who insists he wishes to resist his upper crust fate. As Lucy navigates this complex relationship in all its youthful heartache and prepares for life in the broader world, she begins to question accepted notions of success, bristling against her own hunger for male approval and searching for an authentic way to live and love. She is drawn into the world of a pair of provocative female artists living in what remains of New York's bohemia, but soon even their paradise begins to show cracks. Told in vibrant, quicksilver prose, The Falconer provides a snapshot of the city's youth as they grapple with privilege and the fading of radical hopes and paints a captivating portrait of a young woman in the first flush of freedom.
The story opens with a basketball game. Not being a fan of sports in general, I was prepared to roll my eyes and painfully slog through the remaining 200-plus pages, but au contraire. Lucy's first-person narration kept me hooked. At least for a little while.... [F]rom my point of view, Lucy's tendency as the book progresses to contradict one thought with another became very unnerving. I found myself asking What's going on? What do you really believe? more and more with time.... In spite of all this, I wouldn't say that Lucy doesn't have her moments, and THE FALCONER is a solid read because of that. Objectively --- if such a descriptor can be attached to anything of this nature --- it's more than solid. It's not the kind of book I usually read, so I guess it didn't strike me in the way it was supposed to. But as a celebration and a critique of life, love, and what it is to be a woman and a person on planet Earth, this book has a lot to say, all of which Czapnik says with a deftness and uniqueness I've not seen much elsewhere.
Lucy's fierce first-person point of view is as confident and fearless as she is on the court; she narrates her story with the immediacy and sharpness of a sports commentator, mixed with the pathos and wisdom of a perceptive adolescent charting the perils of her senior year of high school.... But it's arguably the nonhuman characters that give true shape to Lucy's evolution: basketball and New York.
—New York Times
—New York Times
The Falconer by Dana Czapnik introduces 17-year-old Lucy Adler, a basketball phenom and equally extraordinary observer of the world around her the book is filled with highly caffeinated badass riffs on Manhattan's scenery and soul, on feminism and art, on Lucy's generation, and on basketball itself.... Lucy's simmering sexuality, her reaction to the male bodies around her, is never off the page for long. After all the books we've read about horny, frustrated adolescent boys, it's nice to get a different perspective.