Happy Birthday, Jesse Ball, born 7 June 1978
- I like small books. I like durable books. I like plain books. I like small type and thin pages.
- Three things are required of you: the wishes you made when you first knew the breadth of this life; the contract you signed when you decided your wishes were not true or possible; and the exacting of the punishment you agreed to when you knew you would break the contract of your life.
- I have a very basic notion of the structure the book might have – that’s mostly it. The rest is luck and happenstance.
- I have a different purpose in writing each novel. Some of them seem more similar than others, but the purposes are always different.
- The books turn out to be about things afterwards. I don’t go into them with concepts, for the most part.
- I’m confused, and brilliant books help me to be less so.
Jesse Ball is an American novelist and poet whose spare style has been compared to that of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. He is the author of 14 books, including How to Set a Fire and Why. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages and he won the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize.
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