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The Falconer
by Dana Czapnik




Overview -
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.

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More About The Falconer by Dana Czapnik

 
 
 

Overview

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.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781501193224
  • ISBN-10: 1501193228
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Falconer

You can try, but you’re unlikely to find descriptions of basketball as elegant as those in Dana Czapnik’s debut novel, The Falconer. “The ball is a face. Leathered and weathered and pockmarked and laugh lined.” So begins the story of Lucy Adler, 17 and confident in her ability to beat any man on the court.

The novel is set in the early 1990s during Lucy’s senior year at Pendleton Academy. Ambitious Lucy likens herself to the Falconer in Central Park, “a statue of a young boy in tights, leg muscles blazing, releasing a bird.” That’s how she wants to live: at the top of her powers and showing no fear. Although she wonders why women don’t get statues like that.

Lucy is in unrequited love with Percy, her frequent competitor on the court, a wealthy kid whose family made its fortune in part by investing in the company that made Agent Orange. She can’t help but notice that she doesn’t get as much as respect as boys like Percy do, even though she’s her school’s scoring leader. That’s just one of the many examples of sexism Lucy confronts, but at least she doesn’t lack people to commiserate with. Among them are older cousin Violet, an artist, and the woman Violet lives with, also an artist, whose latest project involves using Pepto-Bismol to paint Barbie logos.

There’s little plot here, and Czapnik’s characters tend to make speeches, but The Falconer offers astute observations on the difficulties women confront when trying to succeed in male-dominated fields. In Lucy, Czapnik has created a great character who refuses to conform to expectations. But even Lucy knows that, for a falcon to soar, those with the power to hold it back need to let go.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

BAM Customer Reviews