This Census-Taker by China Miéville
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.
Award-winning novelist China Miéville’s new novella is a stunning, uncanny, and moving tale set somewhere at once otherworldly and unsettlingly familiar.