Skip to main content

Jesse Ball

Biography

Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball is the author of 15 books, most recently the novel CENSUS. His works have been published to acclaim in many parts of the world and translated into more than a dozen languages. He is on the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, won the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and has been a fellow of the NEA, Creative Capital, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Jesse Ball

Books by Jesse Ball

by Jesse Ball - Dystopian, Fiction, Literary

The old-fashioned struggle for fairness has finally been abandoned. It was a misguided endeavor. The world is divided into two groups, pats and quads. The pats may kill the quads as they like, and do. The quads have no recourse but to continue with their lives. THE DIVERS' GAME is a thinly veiled description of our society, an extreme case that demonstrates a truth: we must change or our world will collapse. What is the effect of constant fear on a life, or on a culture? THE DIVERS' GAME explores the consequences of violence through two festivals, and through the dramatic and excruciating examination of a woman’s final moments.

by Jesse Ball - Dystopian, Fiction

When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn’t have long left to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son, who has 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. Traveling into the country, through towns named only by ascending letters of the alphabet, the man and his son encounter a wide range of human experience. As they approach “Z,” the man must confront a series of questions: What is the purpose of the census? Is he complicit in its mission? And just how will he learn to say goodbye to his son?

by Jesse Ball - Fiction

Lucia Stanton’s father is dead, her mother is in a mental hospital, and she’s recently been kicked out of school --- again. Living with her aunt in a garage-turned-bedroom, and armed with only a book, a Zippo lighter and a pocketful of stolen licorice, she spends her days riding the bus to visit her mom and following the only rule that makes any sense: Don’t do things you aren’t proud of. When Lucia discovers that her school has a secret Arson Club, her life is suddenly lit up; she’ll do anything to join.