Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Readers who enjoy the imaginative fiction of Paul Auster or who found Cormac McCarthy’s dark, post-apocalyptic novel The Road interesting, might also like The Curfew by Jesse Ball. Like The Road, Ball’s primary protagonist is a father (William) whose primary focus is protecting his deaf daughter Molly from the increasingly violent, dystopian world of forced curfews, banned art, surveillance and state executions. William used to be a violinist but now is employed as an “epitaphorist” who works with the dead’s loved ones to develop gravestone messages. Readers will learn about how William and Molly’s absent mother were once a happy, young couple prior to her arrest and disappearance. One evening, William is approached by a rebel citizen who has documents that William cannot refuse to hear about. Molly is left behind to construct an imagined world of puppets as she copes with the confusing facts of William's dangerous journey into the dark. The prose is sparse yet poetically rendered. While not a perfectly actualized novel, Ball’s unfolding talent for inventive yet accessible fiction continues with his latest.