Census

By: Jesse Ball
Image result for 9781783783779Location:FIC BAL
Genre: Literay Fiction, Dystopia

"A very moving and inventive novel about love and loss, the bonds of family, human capacity for both good and evil, and fathers and sons." Matthew 

Jesse Ball tells us in the introduction: 

“It occurred to me last month that I would like to write a book about my brother. I felt, and feel that people with Down syndrome are not really understood. What is in my heart when I consider him and his life is something so tremendous, so full of light, that I thought I must write a book that helps people see what it is like to know and to love a Down syndrome boy or girl. It is not like what you would expect, and it is not like it is ordinarily portrayed and explained. It is something else, different than that.”



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—a son whom he fiercely loves, a boy 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. 

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. While some townspeople welcome them into their homes, others who bear the physical brand of past censuses on their ribs are wary of their presence. When they press toward the edges of civilization, the landscape grows wilder, and the towns grow farther apart and more blighted by industrial decay. 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 good-bye to his son? 

Mysterious and evocative, Census is a novel about free will, grief, the power of memory, and the ferocity of parental love, from one of our most captivating young writers.

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