Asymmetry: Lisa Halliday with Ira Silverberg

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.

Lisa Halliday grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts and currently lives in Milan, Italy. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review and she is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction. Asymmetry is her first novel.

Ira Silverberg joined Simon & Schuster in October 2015 and will be acquiring literary fiction, including translations. He recently brought novelists Sam Lipsyte and the French bestseller Olivier Bourdeaut to the list. Among the clients he represented when he was an agent were National Book Award fiction finalists Adam Haslett, Christopher Sorrentino, and Rene Steinke; bestselling nonfiction writers Ishmael Beah and Neil Strauss; and design gurus Kate Spade and Amanda Brooks. As an editor at both Grove Press and Serpent's Tail, he reissued work from Nobel Prize winners Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Muller, and Kenzaburo Oe. He also had the pleasure of bringing Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls back to print. Silverberg is the former Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts and currently Adjunct Faculty at The School of the Arts MFA Writing Program at Columbia University.

Event date: 

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 7:00pm

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