Growing up isn’t easy. You feel different, odd. You’re not like everyone else. You don’t belong in this world. Through short vignettes, each a moment in time at a specific date and age, Susannah Dickey’s debut novel Tennis Lessons takes you through the moments that build a life.
Dead pets, crashed cars, failed relationships and family traumas. This exciting books takes us through them all as one young woman navigates the path to adulthood.
Told in the second person, it’s intense, an interior focus that drags you right into the heart of the action and emotion. It’s the character, rather than any plot, which hangs the whole thing together – a clever and difficult move. Spanning twenty five years it’s a novel that looks at how we are shaped by our experiences, each fragment and moment bouncing along, with no clear trajectory in sight at the start. Anxiety, frailty and vulnerability all exist at the same time as nights out and fun with friends, in that juxtaposed way that all lives are built of.
Susannah Dickey is a writer from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets, I had some very slight concerns (The Lifeboat, 2017) and genuine human values (The Lifeboat, 2018). In 2017 she was the winner of the inaugural Verve Poetry Festival competition. Her debut novel, Tennis Lessons, will be published by Doubleday in July 2020.