Dear Great Book Guru, I have just been invited to a ceilidh by a friend- apparently it’s a party with Irish dancing, music, and storytelling. It sounds like great fun and- as usual- I’d like to have a good book to read beforehand- perhaps something about the creative process.
Dear Ceilidh Celebrant, I just finished a widely praised book about writers and the writing process: ASYMMETRY by Lisa Halliday. It is divided into three distinct but overlapping stories. In the first, we meet Alice- a young junior editor for a publishing house- and Ezra Blazer- a famous author who is much older than Alice. Set in the 1990’s in Manhattan and Long Island’s East End, the novel humorously and touchingly chronicles their love affair. The second story opens in 2008 at Heathrow Airport where Amar, a Brooklyn economist, is being detained by immigration police as he attempts to visit his brother in Kurdistan. In the final piece it is 2011 and Ezra Blazer is being interviewed on the BBC about his award winning career, exquisitely capturing his thoughts on love, life, and legacy. How can the three pieces come together? Halliday does a remarkable job of capturing the creative forces that unite these disparate stories in this -her semi-autobiographical debut novel. Recommended!