Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
A Novel

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The questions that crop up — about the illusion of choice and the fateful hand of luck, of birth — form the philosophical core of the novel but luckily, they come to us largely through Amar, and are handled lightly, leavened by his sarcasm, his mournful wit.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday.

Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda.

A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.
 

About Lisa Halliday

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Published February 6, 2018 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Asymmetry
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Nov 28 2017

A singularly conceived graft of one narrative upon another; what grows out of these conjoined stories is a beautiful reflection of life and art.

Read Full Review of Asymmetry: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Parul Sehgal on Feb 06 2018

The questions that crop up — about the illusion of choice and the fateful hand of luck, of birth — form the philosophical core of the novel but luckily, they come to us largely through Amar, and are handled lightly, leavened by his sarcasm, his mournful wit.

Read Full Review of Asymmetry: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Reader Rating for Asymmetry
80%

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