Dana Czapnik

The Falconer is a novel of huge heart and fierce intelligence. It has restored my faith in pretty much everything.” Ann Patchett, PEN/Faulkner Award winning author of Bel Canto

“The writing in Czapnik's debut is sparkling throughout; her background as a sports journalist shines in the basketball passages. ‘Does art always win?’ Lucy wonders, reading a protest sign at an ‘Art vs. Kmart’ demonstration. ‘If it did, the world would be a very different place. Yet it doesn't always lose either, does it? So I guess the answer is sometimes. Sometimes art wins.’ It certainly does here. 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.” Starred Kirkus Review

“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, New York Times bestselling author of The Burning Girl

The Falconer is a deeply affecting tale of a young woman coming of age in a man’s world. I’ve never read a character quite like Lucy in fiction - a deeply intelligent basketball player with a sharp, incisive take on the changing city and country in which she lives. She jumps right off the page.” — Salman Rushdie, Man Booker Prize winning author of Midnight's Children

“Dana Czapnik's first novel is 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, National Book Award winning author of Let the Great World Spin

"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

“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, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists


in stores january 2019

Pre-order now


A 2019 Indies Introduce pick! Click through to read what Independent booksellers are saying about The Falconer.

A literary page-turner brimming with intelligence, energy, and wit that “will thrill readers of all generations.” (Colum McCann)

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. 


Website background pic experiment 2 bball court.jpg