Author(s): Jesse Ball


''Jesse Ball [is] among our most compelling and daring writers today.'' LA Review of Books

When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn''t have long to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son--a son whom he fiercely loves, a son with Down syndrome. With no recourse in mind, and with a desire to see the country on one last trip, the man signs up as a census-taker for a mysterious governmental bureau and leaves town with his son.

Censusis a novel about free will, grief, the power of memory and the ferocity of parental love, from one of America''s most captivating young writers.

Jesse Ball(1978-). Novelist, absurdist. Born in New York. His many and varied works are beloved in a dozen languages.

''Census, Ball''s eighth and latest novel, may be his most emotionally affecting book to date...a profound and stirring meditation on love, loss and paternity.'' New York Times

''Ball indulges our natural curiosity about what''s real and simultaneously repudiates the idea that it matters. This is a writer too interested in the transformative power of language to come down on one banal side or the other.'' Age

''Censusis a vital testament to selfless love; a psalm to commonplace miracles; and a mysterious evolving metaphor. So kind, it aches.'' David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas

''A young genius who hits all of the right notes.'' Chicago Tribune

''A poet by trade, Ball understands the economy of language better than most fiction writers today.'' Huffington Post

''With echoes of Paul Auster and Cormac McCarthy, Jesse Ball''s road novel is anything but traditional. The prolific, award-winning author tells the story of a father and his son who has Down syndrome, bringing out their connection in luminous and unexpected ways.'' Entertainment Weekly

''A dying man and his disabled son travel as census takers in Jesse Ball''s thoughtful, dystopian-influenced novel. Written in part as an ode to the author''s late brother, the book explores the human experience for both caretakers and the people who crave care, as the duo traverses the country tabulating and tattooing citizens for a mysterious government agency.'' Harper''s Bazaar, 18 New Books You Need To Read in March

''In a world beset by untrustworthy government leaders, a book about a mysterious government bureau keeping track of a nation''s population feels both terrifying and completely within the real of possibility. And that''s exactly what I felt when reading Jesse Ball''s strange and wonderful new novel, Census...A melancholy and grief-filled book, Censusalso serves a healthy helping of compassion. I highly recommend it for fans of Paul Auster and Samantha Hunt.'' LitHub, 15 Books You Should Read This Month

''A powerful meditation on grief, weaving a father-son tale that proves as captivating as it is haunting.'' Paste Magazine, 10 of the Best Books of March 2018

''A powerful and moving new novel.'' Chicago Review of Books, Best New Books of March 2018

''Emotionally riveting and shot through with the most pressing issues of our time, Ball''s exploration of humanity in modern America is not to be missed.'' Pop Sugar, 20 Best New Books to Read in March

''An understated feat, a book that says more than enough simply by saying, "look, this is how some people are."'' Washington Post

''Ball takes us on a dark journey into a troubled world, where the census taker leaves a tattoo on each individual''s rib...He ends with a heartbreaking farewell: the future, the father sees, is "his, and not mine."'' BBC, Ten Books to Read in March

''Each new book from Jesse Ball reveals a new facet of his abilities as a writer; each one takes bold structural risks even as it ventures into heart-rending territories.'' Vol. 1 Brooklyn

''Jesse Ball has written a beautiful road trip novel, yes, but it is also so much more...What there''s no question about it Ball''s alternately fierce and tender portrayal of parental love, of how we grieve for the things we haven''t yet lost, and of how we are responsible for understanding our roles in perpetuating the destruction happening all around us. This is a book that will give you an expanded sense of what it means to have compassion, and what it means to love.'' Nylon, 10 Great Books to Read in March

''Censusis a novel about everything big, told in the miniature, heart-wrenching tableau of a census. We are grazed by the notion that something is a bit different in this world, breathing down our necks. These characters jump from the page into life, and a transformative journey is undertaken for both the reader and the characters.'' Nashville Arts

''Holds questions at every turn.'' Bustle, 15 Best Fiction Books of March 2018

''In eight novels produced in just over a decade, [Ball] has combined Kafka''s paranoia with Whitman''s earnest American grain to found a fictional kingdom of genial doom and melancholia...Census, Ball''s new work, [is] his most personal and best to date...Think The Roadby Cormac McCarthy with Ball''s signature surreal flourishes...I can think of no higher praise for this novel than to echo what this woman tells the father for travelling with his son, for letting the world experience his gift: "I think you cannot know the good you do."'' New York Times

''Explore with Ball, fall into his quirky rhythms, and you''ll discover a burning plea for empathy. It will break your heart.'' Entertainment Weekly

''This novel is a devastatingly powerful call for understanding and compassion.'' Publishers Weekly, Picks of the Week

''Some books resonate more deeply than others; they don''t merely reflect the world we''re presented with, but instead they refashioned it, even warp it, revealing essential truths. Ball''s poignant dedication to his late older brother Adam, who had Down syndrome, adds yet another layer of complexity to this surreal and powerful story.'' Esquire, Best Books of 2018 (So Far)

''Censusis an odd, poignant, vitalising novel well worth the journey.'' LA Review of Books

''Absorbing, reflective and deeply moving, Censusis the most necessary kind of book--one that urges us to see and feel with all the wonder that the world deserves.'' Outline

''What could be a sentimental or treacly parable Ball transforms into a thrilling, imaginative work that explores both the limits and powers of language and empathy.'' National Book Review

''What''s impressive about Jesse Ball is not just how prolific he is--and he''s most certainly that; he is not yet 40 and has written 14 books, including six novels, since 2004--but how good and, more importantly, human his works are. The author consistently crafts high-concept fabulist tales with sensitivity and quiet poetry.'' AV Club

''His [Ball''s] latest mysterious, mesmerising, and insightful fairy tale is an imaginative and tender tribute to his late brother, who had Down syndrome...Ball''s mind-bending, gorgeously well told, and profoundly moving fable celebrates a father''s love for his son, whose quintessence is to inspire people to be their better selves.'' Booklist, starred review

''Censusis the phantasmagoric road trip that breaks your heart in more ways than one and leaves you all the better for it.'' BookPeople

''A beautiful story of two people trying to make their way through a world that is sometimes cruel or indifferent to beauty.'' Catherine Lacey

''A wonderfully moving tribute to an obviously loved sibling.'' BookMooch

''Censusis a deeply humane and tender novel, brimming with compassion, deep and original though, sweetness and, yes, even humour...An astoundingly good book.'' Bram Presser

''I defy anyone not to read its final pages through tears.'' Daily Mail UK

''A detailed and moving portrayal of a kind of radical innocence, one that brings both the cruelty and the kindness in the world around it into sharp focus. For me, it was the most powerful of the many surprises in this unusual, impressive novel.'' Guardian

''Its hopefulness is endearing, its purity shines...warrants a re-read.'' Bookmunch

''He is skilfully rendered; observed through the eyes of his father, who is deeply attuned to his son''s moods and tendencies [...] There is nothing condescending in how father describes son. It is joyful, honest, funny, smart. Again, I returned to the foreword, and considered how magnificently Ball celebrates his brother''s memory.'' Lifted Brow

''An absurdist metaphysical parable, reminiscent of Beckett, Kafka, or Calvino...[Ball] is one of America''s most interesting high-concept voices.'' Australian Book Review

Product Information

`Ball indulges our natural curiosity about what's real and simultaneously repudiates the idea that it matters. This is a writer too interested in the transformative power of language to come down on one banal side or the other.' * Age * `A novel that is simultaneously powerful and elusive, whose dreamlike textures and sense of dislocation lend its reflection of our own fears genuine power, suggesting not just unsettling questions about our own unease about suffering, but also probing the uncertain intersection of fiction and reality, memory and imagination.' * Australian on A Cure for Suicide * `Subtle and breathtaking.' * New York Times on A Cure for Suicide * `A poet by trade, Ball understands the economy of language better than most fiction writers today.' * Huffington Post * `Jesse Ball [is] among our most compelling and daring writers today.' * LA Review of Books * `A young genius who hits all of the right notes.' * Chicago Tribune * `Strange, brief, beguiling...Ball's talents, both as a storyteller and a writer of prose, tend to burst the borders of his structures.' * James Wood, New Yorker, on Silence Once Begun *

Jesse Ball (1978-). Novelist, absurdist. Born in New York. His many and varied works are beloved in a dozen languages.

General Fields

  • : 9781925603446
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : Text Publishing Company
  • : February 2018
  • : 2.2 Centimeters X 15.4 Centimeters X 23.4 Centimeters
  • : Australia
  • : April 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

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  • : 418
  • : Paperback