Census

Jesse Ball

Published: 5 April 2018
Hardback, B Format
129x198mm, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781783783755
£14.99

Other Editions

Paperback

Image of

Published: 3 January 2019
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781783783779
£9.99

Ebook Available

'CENSUS is 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 father and son who are census takers journey across a nameless country from the town of A to the town of Z in the wake of the father's fatal diagnosis. Knowing that his time is menacingly short, the father takes his son, who requires close and constant adult guidance, on this trip of indefinite length. Their feelings for each other are challenged and bolstered as they move in and out of a variety of homes, meeting a variety of different people. Census is about the ways in which people react to the son's condition, to the son as a person in the world. It is about discrimination and acceptance, kindness and art, education and love. It is a profoundly moving novel, glowing with wisdom and grace, roaring with a desire to change the world.

Overview

'CENSUS is 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 father and son who are census takers journey across a nameless country from the town of A to the town of Z in the wake of the father's fatal diagnosis. Knowing that his time is menacingly short, the father takes his son, who requires close and constant adult guidance, on this trip of indefinite length. Their feelings for each other are challenged and bolstered as they move in and out of a variety of homes, meeting a variety of different people. Census is about the ways in which people react to the son's condition, to the son as a person in the world. It is about discrimination and acceptance, kindness and art, education and love. It is a profoundly moving novel, glowing with wisdom and grace, roaring with a desire to change the world.


About the author

Image of Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball is the award-winning author of over ten books of prose, poetry, drawings and essays. He lives in Chicago. More about the author


Reviews

Census is a curious, clever novel... Ball's style is spare and simple... Census is a help to greater understanding and an act of piety. It is a humane, surreal novelBrian Martin

Close

Reviews

Census is a journey without names... Places are identified only by letter, so from A-Z, they move through the very DNA of language... This is both a curiously complicated and persuasively simple book... The text reads more like a letter exploring the complexity of love... Jesse Ball is telling us a most important truth through the father: those who battle to communicate will always need a champion’ Henrietta McKervey

'Census is a vital testament to selfless love; a psalm to commonplace miracles; and a mysterious evolving metaphor. So kind, it aches' David Mitchell

A novel of abundant affecting moments and strange, fierce wisdom, Census is an exquisitely powerful testament to loveLisa McInerney

Census is a strange and marvellous piece of work. It has the eerie atmosphere of both an antique fable and a letter from the future; it is sad and lonely and joyous and shimmering with love. I feel changed for having read it. Jesse Ball is a stunning writer with a searching gaze and a steady hand; he makes me want to stand up and be countedJon McGregor

Unexpected, often remarkable... Done with a light touch and a resourceful sense of drama [the characters are] all vividly rendered often with wonderfully macabre or bizarre stories in their background, and advance a sustained philosophical inquiry into the nature and limits of human empathy... A detailed and moving portrait of a kind of radical innocence, one that brings both the cruelty and the kindness in the world around it into sharp focus. [A] powerful... unusual, impressive novelJames Lasdun

Uniquely memorable and utterly profound.. strange and dreamlike...’ Melissa Harrison

‘A wonderful, stirring, essential novel’ Kit Caless

‘Ball's writing is a blend of delicacy and panache... Census shimmers between a spectrum of moods; its prose has a versatility that can equally do heartfelt [...] and slyly ironic... remarkable’ Cal Revely-Calder

‘Reading Jesse Ball's new novel feels like being hypnotised, or like having your heart broken... a dreamlike road-trip of a book ... overflowing with feelingPatrick Langley

‘This pared-to-the-bone tale of a widower and his son on a northward journey to chart the population of an unspecified America-like country [is] a powerful reflection on what constitutes selfhood [from] Ball - a rising star of US fiction... I defy anyone not to read its final pages through tearsAnthony Cummins





 
Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts