“Coming-of-age in Manhattan may not have been done this brilliantly since Catcher in the Rye. That comparison has been made before, but this time, it’s true. Get ready to fall in love.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred 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 and co-owner of Parnassus Books
New York, 1993. Seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler, a street-smart, trash-talking baller, is often the only girl on the public courts. At turns quixotic and cynical, insecure and self-possessed, Lucy is in unrequited love with her best friend and pick-up teammate Percy, scion to a prominent New York family who insists he wishes to resist upper crust fate.
As she navigates this complex relationship with all its youthful heartache, Lucy is seduced by a different kind of life—one less consumed by conventional success and the approval of men. A pair of provocative female artists living in what remains of New York’s bohemia invite her into their world, but soon even their paradise begins to show cracks.
Told in vibrant, quicksilver prose, The Falconer is a “wholly original coming-of-age story” (Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists), providing a snapshot of the city and America through the eyes of the children of the baby boomers grappling with privilege and the fading of radical hopes. New York Times bestselling author Claire Messud calls The Falconer an “exhilarating debut,” adding that “Dana Czapnik’s frank heroine has a voice, and a perspective, you won’t soon forget.”
Dana Czapnik is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Fiction from The New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2017, she was awarded an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Center for Fiction. Czapnik earned her MFA at Hunter College where she was recognized with a Hertog Fellowship. She’s spent most of her career on the editorial side of professional sports including stints at ESPN the Magazine, the United States Tennis Association, and the Arena Football League. A native New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her husband and son.
The novel captures the feel of New York City in the '90s so beautifully‚—the boom boxes blaring hip hop on graffitied streets, the underground artists, a world not so long ago where people entertained themselves without iPhones, and boredom on a rooftop could lead to life-changing discoveries. —Daniella W., Editor on The Falconer
"Coming-of-age in Manhattan may not have been done this brilliantly since Catcher in the Rye. . . . Get ready to fall in love."
—Kirkus (starred review)
"[A] sizzling debut is a coming-of-age novel set in 1993 New York."
"One of the buzziest debuts of the winter may also sound a tad familiar: a coming-of-age story set in ’90s New York City. But early word is this may rank among the best in that ever-popular subgenre."
"This charming coming-of-age story will get no shortage of comparisons to The Catcher in the Rye. But Dana Czapnik gives readers a heroine all her own: 17-year-old Lucy, a half-Jewish, half-Italian, whip-smart basketball dynamo who is desperately in love with her best friend, a fellow hoops player."
"Remember your moony-eyed, slightly awkward 17-year-old self, hesitantly optimistic for the future and bit overwhelmed by the present? Lucy Adler, the ridiculously endearing high school senior (and ridiculously gifted basketball player) at the center of Dana Czapnik’s debut novel, will take you back to the days of unrequited crushes with cold, cool boys and philosophical conversations with friends on walks home from school. The Falconer is the new definitive New York coming-of-age story — expect to underline many poignant sentences, as well as dreamy descriptions of the city at night."
"Move over Holden Caulfield… there is a new rebel in town. Lucy Adler has taken over as the cynical, smart-talking badass. Soak up the nostalgia of New York in the 90s with Lucy... This coming-of-age novel is one you won’t want to miss this year!"
“Smart, tough, an extraordinary athlete, Lucy Adler teeters, zealous and baffled, on the cusp of womanhood. Dana Czapnik’s frank heroine has a voice, and a perspective, you won’t soon forget. The Falconer is an exhilarating debut.”
—Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl and The Woman Upstairs
“A deeply affecting tale of a young woman coming of age in a man’s world. All the characters feel authentic and unique, and its protagonist, Lucy Adler, jumps right off the page. I’ve never read a character quite like her in fiction - a deeply intelligent basketball player with a sharp, incisive take on the changing city and country in which she lives. Lucy’s journey into adulthood will be especially resonant with today’s readers.”
—Salman Rushdie, author of The Golden House and Midnight’s Children
“An unsentimental education in all that is urgent, soulful and intimate. As much the portrait of an era as it is the portrait of an adolescence, this is a crossover novel that will thrill readers of all generations. The Falconer captures the grueling, exhilarating pathos of one woman’s quest to become whole. A wonderful debut.”
—Colum McCann, author of Thirteen Ways of Looking and Let The Great World Spin
"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 and co-owner of Parnassus Books
“Meet Lucy Adler. As I read The Falconer, I felt like I'd found a literary cousin of Holden Caulfield--if Holden were a straight-shooting, hip-hop-listening, court-dominating, seventeen-year-old Jewish-Italian girl. Dana Czapnik has crafted a wholly original coming-of-age story. In basketball terms, The Falconer is a fearless three-point shot.”
—Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists and The Anatomy of Dreams
"Told with a poet's ear and a basketball player's eye and reflexes, The Falconer is an extraordinary book. Czapnik is refreshingly honest and open-eyed about the way money, gender and the demands of the body steer the overwhelming longings and frustrations of being a young woman growing up in the city. Every detail feels true and important, every small observation tells a larger story. A wonderful new talent."
—Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances and American Innovations