Tennis Lessons: clever, odd and intimate tale of Northern childhood

Susannah Dickey’s powerful writing brings a girl’s coming of age into sharp focus

Susannah Dickey gets the reader on board quickly and refuses to let them flinch.

Susannah Dickey gets the reader on board quickly and refuses to let them flinch.

In the hands of a skilled writer that lesser-spotted animal, the second-person voice, can be used to great effect in fiction.

Sara Baume gave a brutal poignancy to her marginalised narrator in Spill Simmer Falter Wither through a second-person narrative told to a one-eyed dog. In Ghost Light, Joseph O’Connor’s luminous and underrated novel about the actor Molly Allgood, the second person created an intimacy with a protagonist whose failing career and past loves had brought her low. And Claire Keegan’s short story The Parting Gift is a masterclass in second person, providing the reader a devastating proximity to a young woman leaving a troubled childhood home. 

The Irish Times
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