a cure for suicide
Jesse Ball lectures on lying at the Art Institute of Chicago. In an interview with the Paris Review in 2014, he defined a novel as “an account, or a series of accounts” that create “half a world” – the other half being in the gift of, and supplied by, the reader. The ensuing competition between them – the struggle for closure – will induce the reader to create a “rich world, full of paradoxes or conflicting authorities and ideas”. In the end, Ball believes, “that’s a closer approximation of the truth of experience, what it’s like to live, than a single, supposedly objective account”. Rebecca Bates, the interviewer on that occasion, found Ball “by turns both serious and coy” – an effective description of his fifth novel, A Cure for Suicide, a deceptively bland dystopia centred on the social construction of identity. Read the rest of my review of A Cure for Suicide at the Guardian, here.