“asymmetry a·sym·me·try (ā-sĭm’ĭ-trē)
Disproportion between two or more like parts;
lack of symmetry.” Dictionary.com
“Asymmetry” is three interlocking yet seemingly unrelated stories revolving around writing.
Alice, a 25 year old editorial assistant, meets Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Ezra Blazer at a park where she is reading a manuscript. Ezra is 65 years old when they meet. Throughout the first story a relationship develops between the two which very quickly becomes romantic. Ezra had been married previously but the marriage ended because he did not want children. Ezra gives Alice little presents and sometimes gifts of money. Alice is completely enamored with Ezra and slowly they get to know each other. Together they watch baseball, talk politics and literature.
They stay together for a number of years but as he ages and becomes more infirm she realizes that the age difference is too much and they part.
The second segment is the story of an Iraqi American, Amar Jaafari, who is detained at Heathrow airport and prevented from visiting England. Through the questions he is asked during his detention, and his own reminiscences, we learn about his family, his life and his experiences. We also come to realize that he had been one of the many people called to jury duty at the same time Alice was called to jury duty.
The third segment of the book is a radio interview with a much older Ezra Blazer. The interviewer is a young woman and Ezra is quite flirtatious. The interview revolves around Ezra’s favorite musical pieces and slowly the interviewer discloses certain unknown aspects of Ezra’s life. During the interview, Ezra makes an oblique reference to Alice and a novel she has written. It is very clear how much he misses her.
The book is well written and creative. I enjoyed it but have to admit that I did not understand the connectivity among the three stories until my friends at the Cuyahoga County Public Library explained to me a key point that I had completely missed! You can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking here.