The Singles Game (on sale July 12, 2016) dives into the world of professional tennis. Just in time for summer tournaments, this fresh, fun read centers on Charlie Silver, a professional tennis player whose life and career change dramatically following a disastrous performance at Wimbledon. In her efforts to get back on top of her game, Charlie hires a tough new coach, who insists she ditch her girl-next-door image. The problem is, can she act like a ruthless mean girl without becoming one?
After reading The Singles Game, we caught up with author Lauren Weisberger to ask her six questions about her sixth novel. The following is a edited version of our conversation.
Why focus on the world of professional tennis? Do you play, and how did you research the topic?
I do play. I played in high school and I play now that I live outside of the city. I just love tennis. It’s something I’ve always been interested in and I did do a lot of research for the book. I went to a bunch of tournaments and essentially followed the women’s tour.
Who is Charlie, and how do you see readers identifying with or even learning from her?
Charlie is a young, obviously professional tennis player and she has sacrificed a tremendous amount to get to where she is. But at the same time, while she’s incredibly talented and hardworking, in a lot of ways she’s just a regular woman, someone who also has romantic interests and different relationships to negotiate with family and friends and is trying to find balance.
The book highlights sexism, from pay inequity in professional tennis to the double-standard of male tennis players having girlfriends and families while the women remain single and childless. Did The Singles Game present a unique opportunity to address sexism?
I definitely do address it. I don’t think that it’s one of the overarching themes of the book, but there are some differences, from what I saw in the men’s and the women’s tour. It does seem that a lot of the men are able to get married and have children and still keep up a 48- out of 52-weeks-a-year travel schedule. The women just cannot do that.
Most of us know you from The Devil Wears Prada. What have you been up to since then?
This is actually my sixth book, so I’ve written five books before this one, four since The Devil Wears Prada. Primarily I am an author. I’ve gotten married. I have two children and I do a lot of preschool runs.
Who did you write the book for?
I wrote it for my readers, some of whom have been with me since The Devil Wears Prada, and others who have come of age since then. I also wrote it for the women I meet when I’m on book tour that come up and say a particular character spoke to them. I wrote it for some of the younger girls who say: “I don’t really like to read and I hadn't read a book before I read one of yours. I loved it and I’m going to keep reading.” I wrote it for people who are looking for a fun read, something to throw in the beach bag this summer to kick back with and relax.
What do you envision for The Singles Game? Could there be a movie, as we saw with The Devil Wears Prada?
I don’t know. Fingers crossed, you never know!