Why Lisa Halliday’s debut novel Asymmetry is a vital read

As the title suggests, Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, Asymmetry, is a study in inequity. Told in three parts, the story opens with an affair between a young editor and an older, famous writer. It then shifts narratives to focus on an Iraqi-American tourist who is detained for days in London’s Heathrow Airport while trying to get to Kurdistan to visit his brother. The final third of the book cleverly ties the three narratives together. It’s not only Halliday’s ingenious structure but her urgent depictions of post-9/11 anger and Islamophobia that makes Asymmetry such a vital read.