This Census-Taker: A Novel

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For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, David Mitchell, and Karen Russell, This Census-Taker is a stunning, uncanny, and profoundly moving novella from multiple-award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR

In a remote house on a hilltop, a lonely boy witnesses a profoundly traumatic event. He tries—and fails—to flee. Left alone with his increasingly deranged parent, he dreams of safety, of joining the other children in the town below, of escape.

When at last a stranger knocks at his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation might be over.

But by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? What is the purpose behind his questions? Is he friend? Enemy? Or something else altogether?

Filled with beauty, terror, and strangeness, This Census-Taker is a poignant and riveting exploration of memory and identity.

Praise for This Census-Taker

“China Miéville is a magician . . . who can both blow your mind with ideas as big as the universe and break your heart with language so precise and polished, it’s like he’s writing with diamonds.”—NPR

“The book haunts the reader; what actually happened seems always just out of reach, glimpsed in shadow as it rounds a corner ahead of our vision.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Mieville’s] been compared to Karen Russell and George Saunders, and rightfully so.”—The Huffington Post

“Marvellous.”—The Guardian

“Lingers in the mind like an unsettling dream.”Financial Times

“A thought-provoking fairy tale for adults . . . [This Census-Taker] resembles the narrative style, quirkiness, and plotting found in the works of Karen Russell, Aimee Bender, or Steven Millhauser.”Booklist

“Brief and dreamlike . . . a deceptively simple story whose plot could be taken as a symbolic representation of an aspect of humanity as big as an entire society and as small as a single soul.”Kirkus Reviews
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About the author

China Miéville is the author of numerous books, including Three Moments of an Explosion, The City & The City, Embassytown, Railsea, and Perdido Street Station. His works have won the World Fantasy Award, the Hugo Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award (three times). He lives and works in London.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Del Rey
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Published on
Jan 12, 2016
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781101967331
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Descend to the depths of primal horror with this chilling collection of original stories drawn from H. P. Lovecraft’s shocking, terrifying, and eerily prescient Cthulhu Mythos.

In twenty-one dark visions, a host of outstanding contemporary writers tap into our innermost fears, with tales set in a misbegotten new world that could have been spawned only by the master of the macabre himself, H. P. Lovecraft. Inside you’ll find:

“Details” by China Miéville: A curious boy discovers that within the splinters of cracked wood or the tangle of tree branches, the devil is in the details.

“Visitation” by James Robert Smith: When Edgar Allan Poe arrives, a callow man finally gets what he always wanted—and what he may eternally despise. 

“Meet Me on the Other Side” by Yvonne Navarro: A couple in love with terror travels beyond their wildest dreams—and into their nightmares.

“A Fatal Exception Has Occured At . . .” by Alan Dean Foster: Internet terrorism extends far beyond transmitting threats of evil.

AND SEVENTEEN MORE HARROWING TALES

“The Invisible Empire” by James Van Pelt
“A Victorian Pot Dresser” by L. H. Maynard and M. P. N. Sims
“The Cabin in the Woods” by Richard Laymon
“The Stuff of the Stars, Leaking” by Tim Lebbon
“Sour Places” by Mark Chadbourn
“That’s the Story of My Life” by John Pelan and Benjamin Adams
“Long Meg and Her Daughters” by Paul Finch
“Dark of the Moon” by James S. Dorr
“Red Clay” by Michael Reaves
“Principles and Parameters” by Meredith L. Patterson
“Are You Loathsome Tonight?” by Poppy Z. Brite
“The Serenade of Starlight” by W. H. Pugmire, Esq.
“Outside” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“A Spectacle of a Man” by Weston Ochse
“The Firebrand Symphony” by Brian Hodge
“Teeth” by Matt Cardin
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the far future, humans have colonized a distant planet, home to the enigmatic Ariekei, sentient beings famed for a language unique in the universe, one that only a few altered human ambassadors can speak. Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a figure of speech, a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset. Catastrophe looms, and Avice is torn between competing loyalties: to a husband she no longer loves, to a system she no longer trusts, and to her place in a language she cannot speak—but which speaks through her, whether she likes it or not.

Praise for Embassytown

“A breakneck tale of suspense . . . disturbing and beautiful by turns. I cannot emphasize enough how terrific this novel is. It's definitely one of the best books I've read in the past year, perfectly balanced between escapism and otherworldly philosophizing.”—io9

“Embassytown is a fully achieved work of art. . . . Works on every level, providing compulsive narrative, splendid intellectual rigour and risk, moral sophistication, fine verbal fireworks and sideshows, and even the old-fashioned satisfaction of watching a protagonist become more of a person than she gave promise of being.”—Ursula K Le Guin

 “The Kafkaesque writer journeys to the distant edges of the universe in his latest sci-fi thriller.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Utterly astonishing . . . A major intellectual achievement.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Brilliant storytelling . . . The result is a world masterfully wrecked and rebuilt.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A thriller of war that never was—of survival in an impossible city—of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

“Beauty will be convulsive. . . .”

1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

Praise for The Last Days of New Paris

“Beautiful, stunningly realized . . . [The Last Days of New Paris] is a brief vacation in alien latitudes, a midnight layover in an imaginary place.”—NPR

“A thoughtful, highbrow novella . . . Miéville’s self-assured style offers up a strong sense of humanity, while the strange Surrealist monsters give Last Days a fun and complementary mad-science component.”—USA Today

“[A] testament to the necessary, progressive power of art . . . Both moving and disturbingly timely.”—Newsday

“A novel both unhinged and utterly compelling, a kind of guerrilla warfare waged by art itself, combining both meticulous historical research and Miéville’s unparalleled inventiveness.”—Chicago Tribune 

“An extraordinarily original work that foregrounds Mieville’s considerable ingenuity and innovation.”—The Millions

“Hauntingly poetic, strangely beautiful, and erratically intense.”—San Francisco Book Review

“Dazzling . . . quite a feat.”—The Guardian
Writers from Alice Walker to Michael Ondaatje to Claire Messud share their thoughts on one of the most vital gatherings of writers and readers in the world.

The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008 by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Brigid Keenan, Victoria Brittain and Omar Robert Hamilton. Bringing writers to Palestine from all corners of the globe, it aimed to break the cultural siege imposed by the Israeli military occupation, to strengthen artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power."

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of PalFest, This Is Not a Border is a collection of essays, poems, and sketches from some of the world's most distinguished artists, responding to their experiences at this unique festival. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, their gathered work is a testament to the power of literature to promote solidarity and hope in the most desperate of situations.

Contributing authors include J. M. Coetzee, China Miéville, Alice Walker, Geoff Dyer, Claire Messud, Henning Mankell, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, Mohammed Hanif, Gillian Slovo, Adam Foulds, Susan Abulhawa, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeremy Harding, Brigid Keenan, Rachel Holmes, Suad Amiry, Gary Younge, Jamal Mahjoub, Molly Crabapple, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Omar Robert Hamilton, Pankaj Mishra, Raja Shehadeh, Selma Dabbagh, William Sutcliffe, Atef Abu Saif, Yasmin El-Rifae, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mercedes Kemp, Ru Freeman.
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