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Jesse Ball Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Samedi the Deafness (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way Through Doors (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Curfew (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silence Once Begun (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Cure for Suicide (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Set a Fire and Why (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deaths of Henry King (With: Brian Evenson) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Census (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Divers' Game (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Repeat Room (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sleep, Death's Brother (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Autoportrait (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Village on Horseback: Prose and Verse, 2003–2008(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jesse Ball is an award-winning author, widely known for his bestselling novel, Census. As one of the most talented authors of this generation, Ball is widely known for his constant use of spare style, which has, in turn, led many readers and reviewers, to draw a comparison between his writing style and that of Italo Calvino and Jorge Louis. Jesse Ball’s reputation as one of the most respected authors in America was made after Samedi the Deafness became a bestseller. In the year 2009, Jesse Ball published another outstanding novel, The Way Through Doors, which also became a bestseller. Ball was born and raised in a middle-class family in the small town of Port Jefferson, where his father served in Medicaid, while his mother worked as a librarian. Ball’s younger brother was born with Down’s Syndrome and thus, attended a special school away from home. After completing his high school education, Jesse Ball joined Vassar College.

Immediately after graduating from Vassar College, Jesse Ball joined Columbia University where he received an MFA. While attending Columbia University, Jesse Ball met with one Richard Howard, a renowned poet. During this period, Richard Howard assisted the 24-year-old Jesse, publish his very first volume titled, March Book. While in Iceland, Jesse Ball met with another poet, one Thordis Bjornsdottir, with whom they collaborated with on two poems, before getting married. A few months down the line, Ball and his wife decided to settle in Chicago, a place where they still live to date. Apart from being an author, Jesse Ball also serves as a faculty member at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jesse Ball Best Books
In Census, a terminally ill woman and her young son, embark on a final journey to see the entire country. After a contrasting but welcoming stylistic break in Jesse Ball’s previous novel, the highly talented author once again makes a return with his spare tranquil style, employed in Census, to portray a man who has Down’s Syndrome. The narrator of Census is the young man’s father who happens to be a widowed doctor. Recently, the man learned that he is suffering from a heart condition, which is going to be fatal. Instead of simply accepting his fate, the doctor decides to accept a job offer as a census taker for a strange government entity, which not only has him interviewing but also tattooing its citizens, who are spread out across regions A to Z.

Apart from being sent on a peculiar mission, the elderly doctor also realizes that the instructions themselves were equally outlandish. As the book progresses, the two men, eventually encounter all type of strangers, with some being odd, while others being fearful. With others having deep compassion for the man and his assistant. However, halfway, the census taker decides to overlook his responsibilities and comes up with his mission. Thus, the man, decides to enter into each of the house and homes, to look for things worth noting down. Written in clear-cut and unembellished prose, the narrative is permeated by a sense of loss. As the book progresses, the readers get to learn about the man’s late wife, the man himself as he prepares to leave this life and an avant-garde performing artist.

Silence Once Begun
In Silence Once Begun author Jesse Ball investigates a wrongful conviction, a series of disappearances and a modern day love story. Once again, author Jesse Ball makes the reader’s head once again spin with a much darker and a more tempered version of his rather strange and whimsical multimedia creations. It is worth pointing out that author Jesse Ball began as a poet and thus, he is somewhat interested in both visual and narrative mediums as well. Moreover, it is also important to point out that though Jesse Ball claims Silence Once Begun is a work of fiction, part of the book is based on fact. This noirish thriller has similarities with the uncommon thriller, Samedi the Deafness, which was published in the year 2007. Silence Once Begun, begins with a lost game of cards. Author Jesse Ball introduces the readers to one Oda Sotatsu who earns a living by selling and buying threads in Sakai.

As the book begins, a young Sotatsu falls in with one Sato Kakuzo, a bad character. Sotatsu and Kakuzo made a wager. According to the wager, the loser of the wager was supposed to sign a confession. Kakuzo brings the confession forth and sets it out on the table. After the loser signs the confession, Joo, would then take the confession to the local police station. Due to this huge mistake, Sotatsu is convicted of Narito Disappearances, a case which involved the killing of eight older adults. In Silence Once Begun, author Jesse Ball introduces himself as a journalist, which in turn gives him the chance of building the novel from a collage of family interviews, court transcripts, confessions, and photographs. Throughout everything that he goes through, Sotatsu maintains his silence.

Samedi the Deafness
In Samedi, the Deafness, a young man with a rather extraordinary gift finds himself at the center of a multifarious conspiracy. By using poetry prose, author Jesse Ball can breathe life into this highly intriguing thriller about memory, the unsound constructs in which humans house these ethereal concept and truth. The protagonist in Samedi the Deafness is one James Sim. Apart from being an unlikely hero, James Sim also happens to be quite an unreliable observer. Moreover, James Sims suffers from a condition known as mnemonics, where he remembers things quite vividly. The odd turn of events which overwhelm Samedi within the days that follow is described with an extremely delicious dichotomy which alternates between cinematic sleight of hand and linguistic precision.

After witnessing the stabbing of one Mchale to death, Sim decides to look into the killing cautiously. It does not take long before James Sims confronts his only lead in the case, one Estrainger. However, before he could as Estrainger any questions, the man decides to commit suicide by jumping from the window of his apartment. James Sims suspects that the two deaths are somewhat connected and thus, he decides to continue with his investigations. Moreover, after a rash of ritualistic suicides just outside the White House takes place, Sims realizes that the case was much bigger than he had anticipated.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jesse Ball

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