- Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.
|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
In some of its themes, Cartwheel draws inspiration from the case of Amanda Knox, the American foreign exchange student accused, convicted, and acquitted of murdering her roommate in Italy. I was fascinated by the idea of writing about a fictional character who serves as a blank slate onto which an array of interpretations—often inflected by issues of class and privilege, gender and religion, American entitlement and anti-American resentment—tend to be projected. The fictional Lily Hayes shares these broad and nebulous qualities with Amanda Knox; their similarities lie in the contradictory but confident judgments they animate in others.
The eponymous cartwheel serves as a good example of the novel’s intention, as well as its relationship to reality. In the book, some view Lily Hayes’s interrogation room gymnastics as callous, others as benign, others as suspicious. These divided perceptions were initially inspired by the response to the cartwheel Amanda Knox was widely reported to have done during her interrogation—a cartwheel that, we now know, never actually occurred. This episode, I think, illustrates some of the central questions I wanted to explore in this novel—questions about how we decide what to believe, and what to keep believing—while also demonstrating part of why I needed a totally fictional realm to do this.
In contemplating the possibility that this book could be mistaken as a narrative about—and judgment on—real-life people and events, I’ve come to appreciate how entirely my view of writing and reading fiction is based on a single moral premise: that the act of imagining the experiences of fictional people develops our sense of empathy, as well as our sense of humility, in regarding the experiences of real ones. To me, the fictional barrier around the characters in this book isn’t just a necessary prerequisite for trying (or even wanting) to write a novel about the fallibility of perception—it’s also fundamental to my notion of fiction’s ethical possibilities in the world. And so it is as a person, even more than as an author, that I ask readers to have no doubt as to whose story this is. In the real universe is a girl who never did a cartwheel. This novel is the story of a girl who did.
I really did not like any of the characters very much.
I just don't know why you would waste all of your hard work and energy writing a book that's story is already known to so much of the world.
Some of the characters seemed a bit cartoonish and at times the different points of view dragged on and on.
It was almost as if she spent time drinking wine and listening to other people's intelligence excerpts and then trying to piece them together. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Lisa Miller
When a young American exchange student is murdered in Buenos Aires, the prosecutor, Edward Campos is positive it was her roommate, Lily Hayes who did it. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Betty K
I thought this was going to be a very interesting book based on the story line...but I was disappointed. Read morePublished 18 days ago by CC
This fictional story is about an American college student spending a semester in Argentina who becomes a suspect when her roommate is murdered. Read morePublished 19 days ago by CS
I read the book quickly- in 2 days. It was gripping, but I was hoping for a more satisfying ending.Published 1 month ago by Emily C. Petrie-smith
Nowhere near Gone Girl in terms of suspense, and the ending is somewhat disappointing.Published 1 month ago by h. brewer
It was a decent read, but if I had realized that there would be no conclusive ending I would've skipped it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by kjersti
In her New York Times review of Cartwheel, Amity Gaige says, quite accurately, that "the interests of Cartwheel are overwhelmingly literary. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jim