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The Falconer

By: Dana Czapnik

Publisher: ATRIA

Imprint: Atria Books

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9781501193224

Other Formats:

Electronic | Audio | Trade Paperback

On Sale: | Pages: 288

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A New York Times Editor's Choice Pick "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 " An] electric debut novel...Reader, beware: Spending time with Lucy is unapologetic fun, and heartbreak, and awe as well." --Chloe Malle, The New York Times Book Review In this "frank, bittersweet coming-of-age story that crackles with raw adolescent energy, fresh-cut prose, and a kinetic sense of place" (Entertainment Weekly), a teenaged tomboy explores love, growing up, and New York City in the early 1990s. New York, 1993. Street-smart seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler is often the only girl on the public basketball 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 pickup teammate, Percy, the rebellious son of a prominent New York family. As Lucy begins to question accepted notions of success, bristling against her own hunger for male approval, she is drawn into the world of a pair of provocative feminist artists living in what remains of New York's bohemia. Told with wit and pathos, The Falconer is at once a novel of ideas, a portrait of a time and place, and an ode to the obsessions of youth. In her critically acclaimed debut, Dana Czapnik captures the voice of an unforgettable modern literary heroine, 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
“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.
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