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Joshua Ferris Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Then We Came to the End (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unnamed (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Calling for Charlie Barnes (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Dinner Party (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Dinner Party and Other Stories (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Joshua Ferris
Joshua Ferris was born November 8, 1974 in Danville, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Philosophy and English in the year 1996. Then he moved to Chicago and worked in advertising for several years before he got his MFA in writing from UC Irvine.

“Mrs. Blue”, his first published short story, appeared in the Iowa Review in 1999.

“Then We Came to the End” was a National Book Award finalist and won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. “The Dinner Party” was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour” won the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2014 and was shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize.

His fiction has appeared in New Stories from the South 2007, Tin House, Best New American Voices 2007, Heavy Rotation, The New Yorker, State by State, and Granta, as well as other places.

“Then We Came to the End” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2007. Nobody knows us in quite the same way as the women and men that sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office fridge with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the Chicago ad agency depicted in Joshua’s exuberantly acclaimed debut novel is family at both its worst and best, coping with a business downturn in the time honored way: through elaborate pranks, gossip, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.

With a demon’s eye for the details which make life worth noticing, Joshua tells this emotionally funny and true story about survival in life’s oddest environment: the one that we pretend is normal five days each week.

“The Unnamed” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2010. What pushes a man to stay in a job, in a marriage? What forces him away? Is conscience or love enough to overcome the stronger and darker urges of the natural world? “The Unnamed is a novel about ancient yearnings, modern life, and the power of human understanding.

Jane and Tim Farnsworth, during their 20 year long marriage, have savored the fruits of all his hard labor as a high-powered attorney: they travel on exotic vacations, live in this beautiful home, and they don’t have to worry about money. Tim has battled this inexplicable and bizarre illness, however these episodes, while not quite forgotten, have passed.

But then it returns, causing him to behave in a frighteningly new way, which drives him out of his life and into a self and a world that he cannot recognize and Jane’s helpless to control. How far is he going to go in order to battle his body’s incomprehensible desires, and what are they both going to risk to find the way back to the people that they love?

A heartbreaker of a story about marriage and family. A meditation on the unseen forces of desire and nature.

“To Rise Again at a Decent Hour” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 2014. A brilliant and profoundly observed novel all about the absurdities of modern life and a man’s search for meaning.

Paul O’Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice that leads a routine-driven quiet life. However behind the nice apartment and smiles, he is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world yet has no clue how to live in it. A dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan that’s devastated by their wins, and an atheist that’s not so willing to just let go of god. He is a Luddite that’s addicted to his iPhone. His biggest fear is that he might never truly come to understand anyone, including himself.

Then somebody starts impersonating Paul online, and he looks on in horror while a website, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page get created in his name. What starts as just an outrageous privacy violation quickly becomes something a lot more soul-frightening: the possibility that this online “Paul” may be a better version of the real thing. While Paul’s quest to learn exactly why his identity has been stolen deepens, he’s stuck confronting his troubled past as well as his uncertain future in a life that’s disturbingly split between the virtual and the real.

At once laugh out funny indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, truth, and love, and about all the absurdities of the modern world, this is a constantly surprising and deeply moving tour de force.

“A Calling for Charlie Barnes” is the fourth stand alone novel and was released in 2021. A hilarious novel about sons, dads, thwarted dreams, and facing the reality of who we truly are. A novel about a modern American family and one man’s effort to come to understand the many lives of his dad.

Somebody’s telling the story of Charlie Barnes’ life, and it does not seem to be going all that well. In a house he hates, too often divorced, and discontent with life’s compromises, this eternal romantic and life long schemer would like to get out of his present circumstances and into the American dream. However when the twin calamities of the Great Recession as well as a cancer scare come along to compound his current troubles, his dreams dwindle even further, and one infinite past filled with forking paths soon taper off to a black dot.

And then, against all odds, something ends up going right for a change: Charlie gets granted a second act. With some help from his storyteller son, he surveys all of the facts of his life and he finds his true calling in a place that he least expected to: in a sacrifice which redounds with love and selflessness. And he finally becomes the man that his son always knew that he could be.

“A Calling for Charlie Barnes” is a tender and profound portrait of one man whose own desperate need to be loved is his own downfall, and is a brutally funny account of just how that love is ultimately earned.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Joshua Ferris

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