Critic James Wood praises “Silence Once Begun” by Jesse Ball.
Critic James Wood praises “Silence Once Begun” by Jesse Ball.
February 13

Faculty Member’s Book Receives a Rave Review In the New Yorker

Critic James Wood gives Silence Once Begun by faculty member Jesse Ball (Writing) a rave review in the February 10 edition of the New Yorker. Through a fictionalized series of interviews and written correspondences, the book, released by Pantheon earlier this month, tells the story of a man who stops speaking after confessing to a series of kidnappings. Ball’s language “is chastely lyrical, with a discreet musicality,” says Wood. “Even as his interview form enacts a proper postmodern skepticism toward the authority of single narratives, he also brings alive a range of voices, and realistically grounds a tortuous family history.” The Huffingpost also featured Ball in an interview with Mark Rubinstein published on February 11. “In Silence Once Begun, I wanted to portray the gap between different accounts,” he explains. “There are many versions of the world—many viewpoints—and when they collide, there's a separate, special space created. A different meaning resides there, in that space.”