The Divers' Game

Jesse Ball

Published: 3 October 2019
Hardback, B Format
129x198mm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781783785872

About the author

Image of Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball is the award-winning author of over ten books of prose, poetry, drawings and essays. He lives in Chicago. More about the author


‘[Ball is] elliptical, poetic, pretty spare in diction, and his work has the dream-feel of allegory even though it's not exactly allegory as such...Terrifying... The stories are so involving and so pregnant with menace, the telling largely so fresh...Where Ball's story really bites is in the way it shows up dynamics of almost invisibly vast disparities of power and empathy at an individual level... thrillingly imagined



The Divers' Game itself, it has re-ocurred in my mind a couple of times since I read it because it is such a horrifying thought’ Tom Sutcliffe

‘Ball richly imagines a society where empathy is eroded at every level...Chilling

‘Chilling. . . A timely homily’

‘It really captures the thoughtless cruelty of children’ Helen Lewis

‘Powerful... A dark fairytale... Ball's approach has a sort of shock and spite to it, though; a structural brutality that reflects the world he's made... The Divers' Game can be quite hard to read for all the resonances it carries of real segregated societies. And it is primarily Ball's thorniness as a writer, his perverse streak tempered by an innocence similar to George Saunders that makes it easier to countenance the creation of them, and keeps them urgent’

‘Thanks to [Ball's] giant Atwoodian imagination, elegant writing, and fiery, contagious sense of injustice [...] this literary call to arms stays on the right side of missionary zeal. He cries out for 'radical empathy'. I can't think of a better description of what's required’

‘You sense Ball's razor-edged cleverness at work’

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