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Double Fault: A Novel (Paperback)
Tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love ever since she first picked up a racquet at the age of four. A middle-ranked pro at twenty-three, she's met her match in Eric Oberdorf, a low-ranked, untested Princeton grad who also intends to make his mark on the international tennis circuit. Eric becomes Willy's first passion off the court, and eventually they marry. But while wedded life begins well, full-tilt competition soon puts a strain on their relationship—and an unexpected accident sends driven and gifted Willy sliding irrevocably toward resentment, tragedy, and despair.
From acclaimed author Lionel Shriver comes a brilliant and unflinching novel about the devastating cost of prizing achievement over love.
About the Author
Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.
“Shriver explores the obsessive side of Willy’s character and confronts some disconcerting truths that defy a pat, politically correct resolution….Shriver shows in a masterstroke why character is fate and how sport reveals it.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant tale of doomed love….This is not a novel about tennis or rivalry; it’s about love, marriage and the balance of power in relationships….Double Fault is a compelling and playfully ironic take on the sex wars, blistering with…brilliant writing and caustic language.”
— The Observer (London)
“[Lionel Shriver] has written a gorgeous, compelling tragedy in which she stays with her game every step of the way.”
— Dallas Morning News
“Lionel Shriver has something new….Whether you go for tennis or not, the furious back-and-forth of the game in Double Fault can hypnotize you….Shriver brings an insider’s knowledge and a truly athletic prose to her descriptions of what happens on the court.”
— New York Newsday
“Shriver’s novel provides an eye-opening and authentic look at the cutthroat world of pro tennis, but it’s more than just a sports expose. It’s the melancholy and tempestuous story of two people whose love couldn’t survive their own selfishness.”
“Fully using the strongest part of her game--psychological insight--Shriver tracks the fleeting joy and prolonged despair of a young couple....[Double Fault is a] moving, resonant tale of two sparkling careers and two decent people unable to live in harmony.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Double Fault combines the urgency of a page-turner with the satisfactions of fine style... powerful, provocative, and unrelenting.”
— Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love and Waking the Dead
“I can only hope that with Double Fault Lionel Shriver recieves the acclaim she has so long deserved...It belongs on that shelf of books you will return to again and again.”
— Harry Crews, author of A Feast of Snakes and Body