Boulder Book Club
for Writers

5 December 2018

Asymmetry - Lisa Halliday

bibliomancy

stichomancy

rhapsodomancy

Why we're here

Book Club Resources

Who we are

1. Author / Publisher Intent

2. Stylistic Choices

3. Structure, Pacing

4. Climax - what changed?

5. Scene sleuthing

Two Alices

A little meta-info

  • Lisa Halliday graduated from Harvard in 1998
  • She worked at Wylie Agency as an Assistant Literary Agent
  • Wylie represented Philip Roth
  • Short story published in The Paris Review in 2005
  • Left Wylie in 2006 to focus on fiction
  • Won a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction
  • Currently a freelance editor and translator in Milan
  • Asymmetry
  • Subject of 8-way auction for both Asymmetry and her 2nd novel
  • Philip Roth called Asymmetry "a considerable achievement"


  • Novel #2
    • Set partly in Italy, it explores how conspiracy theories take hold
    • Theme: blurred boundaries between fiction and reality

Asymmetry - Lisa Halliday

  • Marketing: Literary, Coming of Age, Psychological
  • Genre: Realistic Present-Day, Rounded-Binary Form
  • Word count: 81,283
  • Print Pages: 305

  • Tense: Past
  • POV: I-Alice; II-Amar; III-Transcript

  • Publish date: February 6, 2018
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • 7 possible Plot Types:
    • Overcoming the Monster
    • Rags to Riches
    • The Quest
    • Voyage and Return
    • Comedy
    • Tragedy
    • Rebirth

  • 4 possible Story Types:
    • Milieu
    • Idea
    • Character
    • Event

Some themes

  • Epigraphs
  • I - Folly: "We all live slapstick lives, under an inexplicable sentence of death . . ." - Martin Gardiner, The Annotated Alice
  • II - Madness: "Our ideas about the war were the war" - Will Mackin, Kattekoppen, The New Yorker, March 11, 2013


  • Asymmetries
    • Personal Relationships
    • Political
    • Literary / Structural
    • Perceptual
  • Blurred boundaries between Fiction and Reality
    • Perception - The Looking Glass
    • Artistic Ability
    • Swim Lanes

  • How a Roman à Clef could go horribly wrong
    • Humorless, Pretentious
    • Stilted, unnatural dialog
    • Unsubtile
    • Un-lyrical, un-musical

  • And now, a little about rounded binary form . . .

Rounded-Binary Form...(A-B-A)

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Analysis (scaled)

Rounded Binary Form (A-B-A)

Word Cloud

  • Word

  • Sentence

  • Paragraph

Candidate books for 2019 (all published in 2018)


  • Lake Success - Gary Shteyngart
  • The Witch Elm - Tana French
  • The Overstory - Richard Powers
  • Normal People - Sally Rooney
  • Warlight - Michael Ondaatje
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman
  • Elevation - Stephen King
  • Milkman - Anna Burns (won Man Booker)
  • Washington Black - Esi Edugyan
  • The Friend - Sigrid Nunez (won Nat'l Book Award)
  • There, There - Tommy Orange
  • The Hazel Wood (YA) - Melissa Albert
  • Children of Blood and Bone (YA) - Tomi Adeyemi

Published in 2017
  • Manhattan Beach - Jennifer Egan

Did you sign in?


We've moved Boulder Bookclub for Writers to
Boulder Writers Alliance
at meetup.com
https://www.meetup.com/Boulder-Writers-Alliance-Meetup

Hope to see you again in 2019

Please stay in touch!
hello@garyalanmcbride.com

Book Club Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!