JOYCE papers presents a source of culture and inspiration in the form of pivotal literary and visual works.

Census

Author

Jesse Ball

Published Date

05-04-2018

Publisher

Granta Books

ISBN

9781783783755

"An old, widowed doctor who has recently learned that he has a heart condition that will be fatal. Accepts a job as a census taker for a mysterious government entity."

About this book

Author Jesse Ball writes Census in memory of his late brother Adam, a quadriplegic who had Down Syndrome and died in his 20s. An old, widowed doctor who has recently learned that he has a heart condition that will be fatal. Instead of simply succumbing to his illness, the doctor accepts a job as a census taker for a mysterious government entity that has him interviewing and subsequently tattooing its country’s citizens, spread across regions designated from A to Z with his son who has Down Syndrome. Along the way, the two men encounter strangers of all sorts, some ghastly, some eccentric, and some with deep compassion for the census taker and his son. About halfway to Z, the census taker abnegates his responsibility and creates his own mission. Written in stark and modest prose, the story is permeated by an indubitable sense of loss.

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