Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Top ten parallel narratives

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.

One of Halliday's top ten parallel narratives--i.e., novels that track unconnected but related stories, as shared at the Guardian:
The Joke by Milan Kundera (1967)

After playing a minor joke on a fellow student, young Ludvik is expelled from the Communist party and drafted into a branch of the Czech military reserved for subversives. The chorus of first-person accounts includes that of Kostka, whose soliloquy stands largely apart from the others and is Ludvik’s foil. The novel also pits communism against Christianity, folklore against reality, self against self. “Who was the real me?” asks Ludvik. “I can only repeat: I was a man of many faces.”
Read about another entry on the list.

The Joke is among Ray French's ten top black comedies and Philip Sington's five top books on life behind the Iron Curtain.

Also see: Philip Hensher's top ten parallel narratives.

--Marshal Zeringue