在“不对称”中，两个看似不相关的部分通过令人震惊的尾声相连。第一个，“愚蠢”，是一个恋爱的故事。它叙述了爱丽丝，一位书籍编辑和20多岁的有抱负的作家，以及伊兹拉布雷泽，一位杰出的老年小说家，其部分模仿菲利普罗斯。第二部分 – “疯狂” – 属于伊拉克 – 美国经济学家Amar Jaafari，他被拘留在希思罗机场。韩礼德的散文干净利落，几乎是WG Sebald风格的报道。这是第一部小说，读起来就像多年来出版过许多书籍的作者的作品一样，它一下子成为了一个超越罗马的谱号，一个思想小说和一个政治参与的元小说作品。
2. Rebecca Makkai的伟大信徒
Orange的首次亮相是对身份及其破碎的替代品的雄心勃勃的冥想，在神话中通过时间，贫困和城市生活的镜头过滤。它的许多简短的章节是通过一群生活在加利福尼亚州奥克兰市的美国原住民的松散联系来告诉他们的。他们都像Chaucer一样，都是前往神社的朝圣者，或者像Faulkner的“As I Lay Dying”一样，是一个穿越景观的大家庭。这部小说是他们的神奇之旅，让纯粹飙升之美的瞬间与最平凡的一片相映成趣，永恒的感觉就在这里和现在的清晰版本旁边。
6. Tara Westover接受过教育
Westover的非凡回忆录是一种勇气和自我发明的行为。她是七个孩子中最小的一个，她在爱达荷州长大，生活在一个家庭中，生活在离网格很远的地方，甚至没有出生证，直到上大学才上学。进入并不明显：在家里，阅读意味着研究圣经和摩门教之书，她童年的大部分时间都花在帮助她的母亲，一位无执照的助产士和她的父亲，一个偏执的男人身上，他保持着一个废金属垃圾场。在叙述她的成长经历和她的胜利时，她将获得博士学位。在剑桥的历史 – 韦斯特福德冒了很大的风险，疏远了家庭成员。奖励是一本证明无法抑制的学习欲望的书。
7. Frederick Douglass David W. Blight
The 9 Best Books of 2018
The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year.
1. Asymmetry By Lisa Halliday
In “Asymmetry,” two seemingly unrelated sections are connected by a shocking coda. The first, “Folly,” is the story of a love affair. It narrates the relationship between Alice, a book editor and aspiring writer in her mid-20s, and Ezra Blazer, a brilliant, geriatric novelist who is partly modeled on Philip Roth. The second section — “Madness” — belongs to Amar Jaafari, an Iraqi-American economist who is being detained at Heathrow. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W.G. Sebald. This is a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years, and it manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.
2. The Great Believers By Rebecca Makkai
Set in the Chicago of the mid-80s and Paris at the time of the 2015 terrorist attacks, Makkai’s deeply affecting novel uses the AIDS epidemic and a mother’s search for her estranged daughter to explore the effects of senseless loss and our efforts to overcome it. Her portrait of a group of friends, most of them gay men, conveys the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years and follows its repercussions over decades. Empathetic without being sentimental, her novel amply earned its place among the contenders for the Booker Prize and the National Book Award.
3. The Perfect Nanny By Leila Slimani
We know from the outset of this unnerving cautionary tale (winner of the Goncourt Prize) that a beloved nanny has murdered the two children in her care; but what’s even more remarkable about this unconventional domestic thriller is the author’s intimate analysis of the special relationship between a mother and the person she hires to care for her offspring. Slimani writes devastating character studies, and she also raises painful themes: the forbidden desires parents project onto their nannies, racial and class tensions. In this mesmerizingly twisted novel, only one thing is clear: Loneliness can drive you crazy.
4. There There By Tommy Orange
Orange’s debut is an ambitious meditation on identity and its broken alternatives, on myth filtered through the lens of time and poverty and urban life. Its many short chapters are told through a loosely connected group of Native Americans living in Oakland, Calif., as they travel to a powwow. They are all, as in Chaucer, pilgrims on their way to a shrine, or, as in Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” an extended family crossing the landscape. The novel is their picaresque journey, allowing for moments of pure soaring beauty to hit against the most mundane, for a sense of timelessness to be placed right beside a cleareyed version of the here and now.
5. Washington Black By Esi Edugyan
This transcendent work of empathy and imagination, the 2018 winner of Canada’s prestigious Giller Prize, opens on a sugar plantation in British Barbados in the waning days of slavery and, against that backdrop of unconscionable brutality, quickly tips us into a new world of possibility: one in which men take to the skies in hot-air balloons, dive to mysterious ocean depths and cross the Arctic on foot. Most daringly, it is a world in which a white slave master’s brother and a young black slave can forge an indelible bond. With subtlety and eloquence, Edugyan unfolds a wondrous tale of exploration and discovery.
6. Educated By Tara Westover
Westover’s extraordinary memoir is an act of courage and self-invention. The youngest of seven children, she grew up in Idaho, in a survivalist family who lived so far off the grid that she lacked even a birth certificate and did not attend school until she went to college. Getting in wasn’t obvious: At home, reading meant studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and much of her childhood was spent helping her mother, an unlicensed midwife, and her father, a paranoid man who maintained a scrap-metal junkyard. In recounting her upbringing and her triumph over it — she would earn a Ph.D. in history at Cambridge — Westover took great risks and alienated family members. The reward is a book that testifies to an irrepressible thirst to learn.
7. Frederick Douglass By David W. Blight
A monumental work about a monumental figure. The charismatic Douglass was Abraham Lincoln’s conscience, so to speak, and Blight’s detailed, cinematic biography is the result of a lifetime of engagement with his subject. Douglass wrote three autobiographies himself, describing his rise from slavery to a role as one of the greatest figures of the 19th century, but Blight’s work is fuller than any of those, relating both the public and private life in a way that Douglass either could not or would not undertake. The result is a portrait that is likely to stand as the definitive account for years to come.
8. How to Change Your Mind By Michael Pollan
Best known for his work on the ethics of eating, Pollan delivers his most personal book yet, one that demanded he drop acid in full view of the reader. Exploring the history and science of psychedelics, he tells of the rise and fall and rise again of our societal interest in these drugs, which are now thought to have many benefits, from helping with addiction to easing the terror of the terminally ill. The book hits its high point when he examines the mysticism and spirituality of the psychedelic experience. What can we learn about ourselves when the part of our mind controlling the ego drops away? What is this older, more primitive part of the brain, which connects us to how a child sees the world? It’s a trip that leads him to wonder about how, ultimately, we can get the most out of our existences as conscious beings in the world.
9. Small Fry By Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Brennan-Jobs grew up shuttling between two starkly different worlds: the bohemian, peripatetic world of her mother, an unstable and impoverished artist, and the luxurious world of her cruel and increasingly wealthy father, Steve Jobs. She provides indelible portraits of both parents, recreating the fraught landscape of her childhood in Palo Alto through the careful accretion of exquisitely granular detail. Her memoir is a work of uncanny intimacy, the debut of a singular literary sensibility. Ultimately, though, it is her portrayal of Jobs as a man prone to mind-boggling acts of emotional negligence and abuse that gives this book its overlay of devastation.