Drawings of Monsters | Jesse Ball | Granta

Drawings of Monsters

Jesse Ball

As a boy of four, I drew monsters, or devils, you might say. They carried tridents.

When I was 4 or 5 I sent the Queen of England drawings of monsters. After a year, her lady in waiting replied!

Later when I was grown, a kind of fox appeared. He has not left me yet.

As a boy of twelve I drew moles like this: (a star nosed mole).

Perhaps around 2005 the foxes came in droves & their appearance changed.

I would draw rabbits too for the ears are fine. They are often seen juggling.

In the years after 2016 underlings appeared – fleshing out certain scenes, most commonly as a passenger on larger creatures’ backs.

The heads of swans I’m partial to, but also things in suits.

Uncommonly I’ll draw a sheep,

Or Baba Yaga’s Hut.

I’ll sometimes draw a sibyl and their prophecies.

I draw more easily when I’ve had a drink – for my hands tremble all day long.


Jesse Ball’s novel The Divers’ Game is available now from Granta Books.

Artwork © Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball

Jesse Ball (b. 1978, New York) is known for absurd and philosophical works of social criticism, often in the form of novels. His prize-winning books have been published in many languages. Since 2007 he has been on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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