Half: An Novel
“Sharon Harrigan’s novel Half is delivered from two voices that are often difficult to distinguish. Twin sisters Artis and Paula—female equivalents of Greek gods Artemis and Apollo—narrate the story of their childhood with a passionate, and at times violent, father and a mother who couldn’t resist him.
After much time apart the sisters reunite at their father’s funeral. There, they make their way outside to a snowy winter day that returns them, though memory, to all that made them who they are. Once so inseparable that they were able to fool lovers after trading places, the distance between them is as wide as the sky on the day their father is buried. The novel is structured in fragments of memory, beginning when they are five years old. They witness their parents tumultuous ardor alongside their father’s philandering and their mother’s willful ignorance, they grow into young adulthood and sexual maturity alongside one another as symmetrically as they had in the womb. When a rift develops between them, and they turn their back on their father, neither knows when they’ll ever return home.
The funeral that brings Paula and Artis home doesn’t only commemorate the death of their father; it is a return to who they were and the doorway to who they will be now that he is gone. While the novel has some challenging sequences in terms of voice, Half is wildly creative in conception and engaging in execution.”
|University of Wisconsin Press
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