'What are you feeling so anxious about? I'm the guy who has to go out there and lose.'
'That's what I don't like. That's what you don't realise. It's harder on the rest of us.'
'I'm sure it must be,' he said.
Tolstoy claimed: 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'. But what if the happy families are actually the most unusual of all?
Paul Essinger is a mid-ranking tennis professional on the ATP tour. His girlfriend Dana is an ex-model and photographer, and the mother of their two-year-old son, Cal. Together they form a tableau of the contented upper-middle-class New York family. But summer storms are blowing through Manhattan, and Paul's parents have come to stay in the build-up to the US Open. Over the course of the weekend, several generations of domestic tension are brought to boiling point . . .
What does it mean to be a family? To be an individual? And how do we deal with the responsibilities these roles impose upon us? A Weekend In New York intertwines the politics of the household and the state to forge a luminous national portrait on a deceptively local scale. Recalling some of America's most celebrated novelists - this is John Updike's Rabbit for a new generation - Benjamin Markovits' writing reminds us of the heights that social realism can reach.