A groundbreaking series of personal nonfiction in which a diverse group of writers takes readers on a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces

Alternately philosophical, funny, personal, political, and poetic, the short memoirs in THE FACE series offer unique perspectives on race, culture, identity, and the human experience from some of our most dynamic literary writers. Our inspiration for The Face comes from a passage by Jorge Luis Borges:

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”


praise for the face series

“It's a jazzy concept: Give hugely talented writers the same basic notes (their own faces), turn them loose and watch them riff seemingly endless melodic variations on the theme. The prompt is diabolically clever…. deep, intricate, often funny, and genuinely moving meditations on family, ancestry, race, ethnicity, culture, aging, past, present and future…. If Restless Books can sustain this level of quality throughout the series, I'm in for the long haul.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The first installments in Restless Books' new nonfiction series, THE FACE, are compact, penetrating essays exploring the intersection between the personal and the cultural. Ozeki, Abani and Aw put forth wildly divergent takes on the simple premise of "the face," in works that seamlessly blend memoir and criticism. Ultimately, what we have are highly concentrated ruminations on race, identity and history by some of the most astute literary minds from across the globe. THE FACE highlights the diversity and universality of what it means to be human. Profound stuff.”

—Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX)