Her Fearful Symmetry

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, Oct 6, 2009 - Fiction - 406 pages
296 Reviews
Another brilliant, original and moving novel from the author ofThe Time Traveler’s Wife.

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers — normal, at least, for identical “mirror” twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her amazing flat in a building by Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin … but they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD-suffering crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the mother of the girls — her own twin — and who can’t even seem to quite leave her flat….

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MMHealy - LibraryThing

I've got to hand the proverbial "it" to Audrey: she did manage to steer quite clear of the formidable temptation of authors whose first novels are bestsellers--to write its twin over and over again ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MizPurplest - LibraryThing

I was drawn to this book by its creepy cover, and by the setting in Highgate Cemetery, which was one of my favorite parts of London. The book was very interesting, engaging, and I was attached to the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Audrey Niffenegger was born in 1963 in the idyllic hamlet of South Haven, Michigan. Her family moved to Evanston, Illinois when she was little; she has lived in or near Chicago for most of her life.

She began making prints in 1978 under the tutelage of William Wimmer. Miss Niffenegger trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received her MFA from Northwestern University's Department of Art Theory and Practice in 1991. She has exhibited her artist's books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987.

Her first books were printed and bound by hand in editions of ten. Two of these have since been commercially published by Harry N. Abrams:The AdventuressandThe Three Incestuous Sisters.

In 1997 Miss Niffenegger had an idea for a book about a time traveler and his wife. She originally imagined making it as a graphic novel, but eventually realized that it is very difficult to represent sudden time shifts with still images. She began to work on the project as a novel, and publishedThe Time Traveler's Wifein 2003 with the independent publisher MacAdam/Cage. It was an international best seller, and has been made into a movie.

In 1994 a group of book artists, papermakers and designers came together to found a new book arts center, the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. Miss Niffenegger was part of this group and taught book arts for many years as a professor in Columbia College's MFA program in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. She still teaches at Columbia College; currently she is teaching writing courses that specialize in text-image relationships. Miss Niffenegger has also taught for the Newberry Library, Penland School of Craft and other institutions of higher learning.

Miss Niffenegger is a founding member of the writing collective Text 3 (T3). Recent T3 endeavors include the litmaglittle Bangand some rather amusing dinner parties.

Miss Niffenegger's second novel,Her Fearful Symmetry,was published in 2009 by Scribner (USA), Jonathan Cape (UK) and many other fine publishers around the world.  She recently made a serialized graphic novel for the London Guardian,The Night Bookmobile,which will be published in book form in 2010. Other current projects include an art exhibit at Printworks Gallery in September, 2010, and a third novel,The Chinchilla Girl in Exile.

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