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Jesse Ball

Author of Census

18+ Works 1,986 Members 78 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Jesse Ball was born in Port Jefferson, New York on June 7, 1978. He received a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and an MFA from Columbia University. His novels include Samedi the Deafness, Silence Once Begun, A Cure for Suicide, and How to Set a Fire and Why. His poem, Speech in a Chamber, was show more chosen for the anthology The Best American Poetry 2006. He won the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize for The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp, and Carr. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: Jesse Ball

Works by Jesse Ball

Census (2018) 325 copies
Samedi the Deafness (2007) 287 copies
How to Set a Fire and Why (2016) 241 copies
The Way through Doors (2009) 239 copies
Silence Once Begun (2014) 228 copies
A Cure for Suicide (2015) 204 copies
The Curfew (2011) 178 copies
The Divers' Game: A Novel (2019) 133 copies
Autoportrait (2022) 28 copies
Vera & Linus (2006) 24 copies
Notes on My Dunce Cap (1843) 17 copies
Sleep, Death's Brother (2017) 12 copies
The Lesson (2015) 11 copies

Associated Works

The Best American Poetry 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 189 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (2016) — Contributor — 108 copies
Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists (2017) — Contributor — 69 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 (2018) — Contributor — 66 copies
McSweeney's Issue 50 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2017) — Contributor — 51 copies
Granta 156: Interiors (2021) — Contributor — 33 copies


Common Knowledge



Quite enjoyed the allegory and thought experiment. Keeping to reread in different circumstances.
Kiramke | 4 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
i almost put this down on the first page, when i got to the line "the clouds that had gathered near and made of themselves rain all through the night were now intent on going elsewhere." "made of themselves rain"? i was sitting outside and wanted to read, though, and i didn't have another book on me, so i kept at it. there's a lot of pretentious phrasing in here, which kept kicking me out of the story. too many moments of saying "ugh!" out loud. but it wasn't completely horrible, because i got sucked into it a bit. but then it just seemed like the "hero" just wandered around stupidly, letting things happen to him. by part-way through i just wanted it to end. and then, at the end, i wanted to go back to a time before that annoying ending.
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J.Flux | 8 other reviews | Aug 13, 2022 |
This is definitely my favorite book of the year so far. I doubt anything will be able to top it.
BibliophageOnCoffee | 12 other reviews | Aug 12, 2022 |
I loved [book:Census|35068746], and was excited when I found this on Hoopla.

I loved Ball's worldbuilding. Here we have 3 connected short stories that illustrate a a dystopian city. The Pats are the favored free, they live in perceived safety. The quads ate descendants of immigrants and prisoners, the unwelcome and excluded. They live in their own lawless neighborhoods--they are marked so as to always be noticeable. The Pats are afraid of the Quads, and can do anything to them with impunity. Anything goes in Quad communities--there are no police to protect them, the guards can also kill them at will.

We get perspectives from 3 women--a teen Pat, a child Quad, and an adult Pat. The worldbuilding is fascinating, but the novel is really about fear, trust, and naivete.

This was almost 5 stars for me, but each story ends just a little too soon for me. The reader is left to guess the endings, which is never my favorite. I am more interested in the author's choices!
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Dreesie | 4 other reviews | Jul 16, 2022 |



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