Identity: A Novel

Identity: A Novel

Identity: A Novel

Sometimes—perhaps only for an instant—we fail to recognize a companion; for a moment their identity ceases to exist, and thus we come to doubt our own. The effect is at its most acute in a couple, where our existence is given meaning by our perception of a lover, and theirs of us.

With his astonishing skill at building on and out from the significant moment, Kundera has placed such a situation and the resulting wave of panic at the core of his new novel. In a narrative as intense as it is brief, a moment of confusion sets in motion a complex chain of events which forces the reader to cross and recross the divide between fantasy and reality.

Amazon.com Review
The reader sits down to dinner with Chantal, who is waiting for her lover, Jean-Marc, in a seaside hotel. While waiting to be served, she overhears two waitresses discuss the unexplained disappearance of a family man. This blatant foreshadowing posits the central question of Identity: what we think we know about our intimates is predicated on projection, primal yearnings, and the deep denial of life's impermanence. Identity reads like a musical exercise;...

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