Asymmetry (Halliday) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Asymmetry is extraordinary, and the timing of its publication seems almost like a feat of civics.… Halliday’s prose is so strange and startingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction.… It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years.… Halliday has written, somehow all at once, a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas, and a politically engaged work of metafiction.
Alice Gregory - New York Times Book Review


A scorchingly intelligent first novel …a clever comedy of manners set in Manhattan as well as a slowly unspooling tragedy about an Iraqi-American family, which poses deep questions about free will, fate and freedom, the all-powerful accident of one’s birth and how life is alchemized into fiction.… [Asymmetry] will make you a better reader, a more active noticer. It hones your senses.
Parul Segha - New York Times


A brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war.
Sam Sacks - Wall Street Journal


It’s hard to deny, by the novel’s end, that Alice/Halliday has pulled off this stunt of transcendence. As with a gymnast who’s just stuck a perfect routine, your impulse is to ask her, what’s next?
Christian Lorentzen - New York Magazine


Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, Asymmetry, begins with a lopsided affair—a perfect vehicle for a story of inexperience and advantage.… Alice and Amar may be naive, but Halliday is knowing–about isolation, dissatisfaction and the pain of being human.
Time


Asymmetry is a debut burnished to a maximum shine by technical prowess, but it offers readers more than just a clever structure: a familiar world gone familiarly mad.
New Republic


(Starred review.) [A] stellar and inventive debut, a puzzle of seemingly incongruous pieces that, in the end, fit together perfectly.… Any reader who values innovative fiction should treasure this.
Publishers Weekly


(Starred review.) While the first story may have readers wondering about the characters' motivations…, the second builds a picture of life as a dual national, the eventual need to pick a side.… [T]hought-provoking…evocative. —Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
Library Journal


(Starred review.) [A] beautiful debut…. Halliday deftly and subtly intersects the two disparate stories, resulting in a deep rumination on the relation of art to life and death. — Cortney Ophoff
Booklist


(Starred review.) Two seemingly unrelated novellas form one delicately joined whole in this observant debut.… A singularly conceived graft of one narrative upon another; what grows out of these conjoined stories is a beautiful reflection of life and art.
Kirkus Reviews

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