The Way Through Doors by Jesse Ball
(Vintage Contemporaries)

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Synopsis

With his debut novel, Samedi the Deafness, Jesse Ball emerged as one of our most extraordinary new writers. Now, Ball returns with this haunting tale of love and storytelling, hope and identity.

When Selah Morse sees a young woman get hit by a speeding taxicab, he rushes her to the hospital. The girl has lost her memory; she is delirious and has no identification, so Selah poses as her boyfriend. She is released into his care, but the doctor charges him to keep her awake, and to help her remember her past. Through the long night, he tells her stories, inventing and inventing, trying to get closer to what might be true, and hoping she will recognize herself in one of his tales. Offering up moments of pure insight and unexpected, exuberant humor, The Way Through Doors demonstrates Jesse Ball's great artistry and gift for and narrative.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Jesse Ball

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Jesse Ball (1978-) is an American poet and novelist. He is the author of Samedi the Deafness, released last year by Random House and shortlisted for the 2007 Believer Book Award. His first volume, March Book, appeared in 2004, followed by Vera & Linus (2006), and Parables and Lies (2008). His drawings were published in 2006 in Iceland in the volume Og svo kom nottin. He won the Plimpton Prize in 2008 for his novella, The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp & Carr. His verse appeared in The Best American Poetry 2006. He is an assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
 
Published February 6, 2009 by Vintage. 242 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Way Through Doors

Kirkus Reviews

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Mora won’t see Selah until he has come to the Inn “thrice, and by three different paths.” The third path returns Selah to his apartment, and he and Mora, having survived the night, head to Coney Island to consult a certain guess artist.

Dec 15 2008 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

Publishers Weekly

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Though literal-minded readers may struggle to follow Morse's arc as the stories converge and he slips deeper into layers of story, Ball's skill with language and delight in comic absurdity make this an immensely enjoyable, brain-busting experience.

Oct 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

BC Books

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Unlike One Thousand and One Nights, Ball never returns to Selah’s first person perspective, and at the end, I wasn’t quite sure if I was reading the real end or only the end of Selah’s narrative.

Mar 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

BC Books

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Certainly you can look at the book and see how far you've come and how much you have left to read, or you can calculate what "unit" you're reading in the context of the total number within the book, but these are vague, imprecise units of measurement.

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

BC Books

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In a structure reminiscent of Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, Ball begins to follow threads of narrative only to drop them and move onto something else entirely, opening up stories within stories like nesting dolls.

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

BC Books

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He does this by telling her story after story within which he hopes Mora (and he) will find her identity.

Mar 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

Open Letters Monthly

Now they intertwine in the count’s and Kolya’s relation of the story, itself called World’s Fair 7 June 1978, which may itself be the unwritten story of the story of the stories.

| Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

Bookmarks Magazine

Jesse Ball, an American poet, novelist, and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, received the Paris Review’s 2008 Plimpton Prize, and his first novel, Samedi the Deafness, was published in 2007.

Feb 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Way Through Doors (Vintag...

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