In the preface to his latest book, Census, Jesse Ball tells readers the book is not about what it is about. He wanted to write a book about the loss of his brother who lived with Down syndrome; in the end, he wrote a book about a traveling, dying man who must perform a census of an unknown, magical nature.
At the same time I see that the academy has its ways of inuring too many of its chosen ones against a compulsion to apply their research and writing to contemporary issues that ought to demand all of our attention. Perhaps it’s that American campuses are so leafy and idyllic, allowing us to pretend that this utopic vision is but the world on a micro-scale.
* Gina Balibrera *
Many nights I fall asleep reading. Glasses on my face, a light turned on beside me, fans whirring, only a few pages in: in bed, on the couch, or, a couple times lately, in the bathtub. I awake with a start, close the book, settle into the brief remaining dark. Here are three I’ve been reading.