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The Necessary Hunger

By Nina Revoyr

As a star basketball player in her last year of high school, Nancy Takahiro's life is about to change forever. Faced with the college recruitment process and unsure where her skill will take her, Nancy is not prepared for meeting Raina Webber, an All-State shooting guard whose passion for basketball is matched only by her talent for it.

When Nancy's father and Raina's mother move in together, the girls are faced with the challenge of negotiating their already intense rivalry and friendship. As Nancy's love for Raina grows and both prepare to leave the inner city neighborhood that has nurtured them, they find themselves looking toward a future that is no longer easily defined.

Set against a backdrop of racial tension between the Asian-American and African-American communities of Los Angeles and infused with tenderness and passion, The Necessary Hunger explores not only the intricacies of the game of basketball, but also the very nature of the relationships young women create in the face of odds that are stacked against them.

Nina Revoyr was born in Japan and raised in Tokyo and Los Angeles. She received her M.F.A. from Cornell University, where she is currently a lecturer.

"Beats with the pulse of life. A smooth, insightful read."
-- Time Magazine

"A quietly intimate, vigorously honest, and uniquely American hoop dream: tough and tender, without a single false note."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"Mesmerizing in evoking Nancy's love for basketball...an artless soul-baring that grows deeply moving."

-- Chicago Tribune

"Read this book, read this book, read this book!...a stunningly complex tale of growing up different in a world that seems only to reward sameness."
-- ETC

"The Necessary Hunger is a moving, insightful story about family, friendship, and young people coming of age with the cards stacked against them."
-- Asian Pages

"I hope this engagingly written first novel finds its way into the hands of young women and older ones who experience similar passions for women and sports."

-- Rebecca Brown, author of The Terrible Girls and What Keeps Me Here

Sound interesting? Read some more:

  • An Interview with the Author, Nina Revoyr
  • From Chapter One: When Nancy met Raina; "The world was perfect on those summer afternoons. If Jesus himself had finally shown up, I wouldn't have noticed unless he'd worn sneakers and had a dangerous jump shot."
  • From Chapter Six: Time for the annual alumni game; "The first thing I noticed, as always, was how much weight they'd put on since their playing days.
  • From Chapter Ten: At the lesbian beach; "It was also a prime spot for serious window steaming, especially for a lot of the gay girls we knew, who couldn't bring their lovers into their homes."
  • From Chapter Twelve: Trouble on the court; "'You pretty good, Viet Cong,' she said. 'You know how to talk in English?'"

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