Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Jesse Ball

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Nationality  American
Occupation  poet Novelist

Name  Jesse Ball
Role  Poet
Jesse Ball Jesse Ball F Newsmagazine
Born  June 7, 1978 (age 37) (1978-06-07) Port Jefferson, New York
Education  Vassar College, Columbia University
Books  March Book, Silence Once Begun, The Deaths of Henry King, The Way Through Doors (Vi, The Village on Horsebac

Sitdown author jesse ball

Jesse Ball (born June 7, 1978) is an American novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short prose, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.


Jesse Ball A Good Work Is a Moment of Clear Thought An Interview

Jesse ball reading from his march book


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Ball's reputation as one of the leading novelists in the United States was first made in 2007 and 2008 with the arrival of the critically acclaimed Samedi the Deafness and then the novella The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp & Carr. The latter won the Paris Review's Plimpton Prize. He followed up that success in 2009 with The Way Through Doors, and in 2011, The Curfew," for which critics called him, "a young genius who hits all the right notes."

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His career and his 2014 book Silence Once Begun were reviewed by renowned literary critic James Wood in the New Yorker in February 2014. In 2015, he was a finalist for the NYPL Young Lion Prize (also for Silence Once Begun). Later that year, he published A Cure for Suicide, which was long listed for the National Book Award.

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In 2017, Granta included him on their list of Best Young American Novelists.


On June 30th, 2017, Ball published an oped in the Los Angeles Times suggesting that all American citizens be incarcerated periodically, as a civic duty. The article likens this incarceration to already existing jury duty and states that no one, not even sitting politicians, judges or military officers would be free from it.

Personal life

Ball was born into a middle-class, English-speaking Irish-Sicilian family in Port Jefferson, New York, on Long Island. Ball's father worked in Medicaid; his mother worked in libraries. His brother, Abram, was born with Down's syndrome and attended a school some distance from the place where they lived. Ball attended Port Jefferson High School, and matriculated at Vassar College.

Following Vassar, Ball attended Columbia University, where he earned an MFA and met the poet Richard Howard. Howard helped the then 24-year-old poet publish his first volume, March Book, with Grove Press.

In Iceland, Ball met Thordis Bjornsdottir, a poet and author who he collaborated with on two books and married.


  • March Book. Verse. (New York, NY: Grove Press, 2004)
  • Og svo kom nóttin, Drawings. With Thórdís Björnsdóttir. (Reykjavík: Nyhil, 2006)
  • Vera & Linus. Stories. With Thórdís Björnsdóttir. (Reykjavík: Nyhil, 2006)
  • Samedi the Deafness. Novel. (New York: Vintage, 2007)
  • Parables & Lies. Prose. (Lincoln, NE: The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2007)
  • Pieter Emily, novella serialized in Guernica Magazine (2009)
  • The Way Through Doors. Novel. (New York: Vintage, 2009)
  • The Village on Horseback: Prose and Verse, 2003-2008 (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2011)
  • The Curfew. Novel. (New York: Vintage, 2011)
  • Silence Once Begun. Novel. (New York: Pantheon, 2014)
  • A Cure for Suicide. Novel. (New York: Pantheon, 2015)
  • How to Set a Fire and Why. Novel. (New York: Pantheon, 2016)
  • The Lesson. Novella. (New York: Vintage, 2016)
  • Notes on My Dunce Cap. Nonfiction. (Brooklyn: Pioneer Works Press, 2016)
  • Sleep, Death's Brother. Nonfiction. (Brooklyn: Pioneer Works Press, 2017)
  • Census. Novel. (New York: Ecco, 2018)
  • Deaths of Henry King. Stories. With Brian Evenson, Lilli Carré. (New York: Uncivilized, 2017)
  • Awards

  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2016
  • Granta Best Young American Novelists 2017
  • Longlisted for the 2015 National Book Awards for A Cure for Suicide
  • The Illinois Author of the Year for 2015: Illinois Association of Teachers of English
  • National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, 2014
  • The Plimpton Prize for the story The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp, and Carr: Paris Review, 2008
  • References

    Jesse Ball Wikipedia