Asunder (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Ever wonder what goes through the minds of the guards at your favorite museum? Ever consider what they think of the art that constantly surrounds them? Chloe Aridjis’ brief, strange, beautiful second novel ASUNDER does just that. Marie has been a guard at the National Gallery in London for nine eventful years, when suddenly, strange events and characters begin to appear in Marie’s life, forever altering its course. A meditation on art, society, women’s suffrage and mortality, ASUNDER will have you ruminating over its ideas long after you’ve put the book down.

“Painters create order from disorder, but the moment that order has been created, the slow march towards disorder begins again.”

— From Asunder (Chloe Aridjis)


Marie's job as a guard at the National Gallery in London offers her the life she always wanted, one of invisibility and quiet contemplation. But amid the hushed corridors of the Gallery surge currents of history and violence, paintings whose power belies their own fragility. There also lingers the legacy of her great-grandfather Ted, the museum guard who slipped and fell moments before reaching the suffragette Mary Richardson as she took a blade to one of the gallery's masterpieces on the eve of the First World War.

After nine years there, Marie begins to feel the tug of restlessness. A decisive change comes in the form of a winter trip to Paris, where, with the arrival of an uninvited guest and an unexpected encounter, her carefully contained world is torn open.

Asunder is a rich, resonant novel of beguiling depths and beautiful strangeness, exploring the delicate balance between creation and destruction, control and surrender.

About the Author

"Asunder" is her second novel.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544003460
ISBN-10: 0544003462
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013
Pages: 196
Language: English