If you haven’t picked up a copy of Asymmetry yet, do yourself a favor and buy it today! Delve into this book to absorb what you can, then after, you may want to read the discussion questions. Hint: If you want to discover more…read Alice in Wonderland, read a Philip Roth book, then read Asymmetry again to make sense of it, and look up each character’s name and origin and anything else that can be googled. You will be surprised and overwhelmed with the incredible amount of literary knowledge and evident research Halliday included in this masterpiece of a debut.
First we are observing a relationship between a young female editor and a much older, successful writer. At times it may seem natural and then is also may feel highly inappropriate. Next we are inside the mind of a muslim man detained at the London airport, and finally, we read an interview with a self centered, arrogant pulitzer prize winning author. Lisa Halliday’s novel, Asymmetry, is made up of three seemingly unrelated sections. At a closer look you may find in Folly, the first section, editor Alice and writer Ezra are very similar to real life young Halliday and Philip Roth. In Madness, section two, the author writes as if she is a Muslim man, with authenticity and knowledge of life in Iraq and a wartime mindset. The final section is an interview with the brash prize winner where his true colors are evident and not altogether pleasant.
Without any spoilers, I must stop here! My book group chose this novel and it was the most enlightening and interesting discussion to date! If you would like more information about Lisa Halliday and Asymmetry, check out this author video interview.
If you have any comments or questions about anything related to Asymmetry, I would love to hear it!
About the Author:
Lisa Halliday has worked as a freelance editor and translator in Milan, where she lives with her husband. Her short story ‘Stump Louie’ appeared in The Paris Review in 2005, and she received a Whiting Award for Fiction in 2017. Asymmetry is her first novel.