The Price Paid

Original title: Le prix fort

Publication Date:

April 2023



Original language and publisher

French | En Exergue

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

Serbia (Akademska Knjiga)


Literary Fiction, Sport


  • Prix Jules Rimet (shortlist)
  • Prix Sport Scriptum FDJ (finalist)

The Price Paid

Original title: Le prix fort


Inspired by true events.

“So on that April day of 1993, you, Günter Parche, a recently unemployed factory worker, a citizen of the new Germany with endless possibilities now open, you are in your hotel room, and you want your slice of the cake, to help bring about social change because everybody now has a say. You are going to do something big, but not out of ambition and even less so out of political conviction or the desire to be famous. You are acting in the name of – love.”

A fascinating investigation into the headline-making attack on Monica Seles: Günter Parche’s surreal obsession, the profound and lasting effect on Seles’s life and career, and the remarkable leniency of the German courts.

On April 30, 1993, Monica Seles was stabbed during a match in Hamburg, Germany. A phenomenal force on the WTA Tour, ranked number one in the world at the age of 17, Seles had risen to prominence against all odds in what would later become the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Hounded by the tabloids and ridiculed for her trademark grunting, Seles had won eight major singles titles in under three years before the age of 20.

David Rochefort gives us a three-part account (twilight, nighttime, dawn) of the tragic confrontation between Monica Seles and Günter Parche, a deranged German fan obsessed with the idea of returning the No. 1 ranking to Seles’s greatest rival, Steffi Graf.

The author gives us a compelling account of both an era (the end of communism in Europe) and a golden age of women’s tennis that culminated in tragedy on that fateful day in Hamburg in 1993.