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Census - Jesse Ball
Census
by: (author)
When a widower receives the devastating news that he doesn’t have long 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... show more
When a widower receives the devastating news that he doesn’t have long 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 north, farther into the country, through a tapestry of 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 the pair into their homes, others, who bear the physical brand of past censuses on their ribs, are wary of their presence. 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 goodbye to his son?

Wrenching and beautiful, Census is a novel about free will, grief, the power of memory, and the ferocity of parental love. It is also an indictment of the cruelties of our society by a major writer.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780062676146
Publisher: Ecco
Pages no: 272
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
"So it goes."
"So it goes." rated it
4.5 Census by Jesse Ball - Love Song to a Sibling Wrapped in a Road Trip
“It is so easy for humans to be cruel, and they leap to it. They love to do it. It is an exercise of all their laughable powers.” Jesse Ball's writing has always fascinated me. I first knew him as a poet and I don't have a ton of faith in poets becoming novelists. (I've missed some good novels, b...
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