Joshua Ferris

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Joshua Ferris
Ferris in 2008
Ferris in 2008
Born (1974-11-08) November 8, 1974 (age 47)
Danville, Illinois

Joshua Ferris (born 1974) is an American author best known for his debut 2007 novel Then We Came to the End. The book is a comedy about the American workplace, told in the first-person plural. It takes place in a fictitious Chicago ad agency that is experiencing a downturn at the end of the '90s Internet boom.


Ferris graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in English and Philosophy in 1996. He then moved to Chicago and worked in advertising for several years before obtaining an MFA in writing from UC Irvine. His first published story, "Mrs. Blue," appeared in the Iowa Review in 1999. Then We Came to the End has been greeted by positive reviews from The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Esquire, and Slate, has been published in twenty-five languages, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and received the 2007 PEN/Hemingway Award.

The New Yorker published a short story written by Ferris, titled "The Dinner Party," in August 2008. This story made him a nominee for the Shirley Jackson Awards. Another story, titled "A Night Out," was published in Tin House's tenth anniversary issue. Other short fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices 2007 and New Stories from the South 2007. His nonfiction has appeared in the anthologies State by State and Heavy Rotation. The New Yorker included him in their 2010 "20 Under 40" list.

Ferris's second novel, The Unnamed, was published in January 2010. It garnered many prominent, although mixed, reviews. Kirkus Reviews described the novel as “audacious, risky and powerfully bleak, with the author’s unflinching artistry its saving grace.”[1] The New York Times review, via novelist Jay McInerney, offered a dissenting view of the novel, calling it "a road novel with severe tunnel vision.”[2]

After a four-year wait, Ferris's third novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, was published in May 2014. The novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize[3] in the first year that American works of fiction were eligible, and it won the 2014 Dylan Thomas Prize. [4][5] and the National Jewish Book Award.[6]



Short fiction[edit]

  • The Dinner Party: Stories (2017)
Title Year First published Reprinted/collected
The fragments 2013 Ferris, Joshua (April 29, 2013). "The fragments". The New Yorker. Vol. 89, no. 11. pp. 64–69.
The breeze 2013 Ferris, Joshua (September 30, 2013). "The breeze". The New Yorker. Vol. 89, no. 30. pp. 64–71.
  • "Mrs. Blue", Iowa Review 29.2 (Fall 1999)
  • "Ghost Town Choir", Prairie Schooner 80.3 (Fall 2006)
  • "It Would Be Life--", Phoebe (2007)
  • "Uncertainty", Tin House 34 (Winter 2007)
  • "More Afraid of You", Granta 101 (Spring 2008)
  • "The Dinner Party", The New Yorker, 11 Aug 2008
  • "The Valetudinarian", The New Yorker, 3 Aug 2009
  • "A Night Out", Tin House 40 (10th Anniversary Issue)
  • "The Unnamed", Granta 109 (Winter 2009) [novel excerpt]
  • "The Pilot", The New Yorker, June 14 & 21, 2010
  • "Good Legs", The New Yorker, June 2, 2014
  • "The Abandonment", The New Yorker, August 1, 2016

Essays and reporting[edit]


  1. ^ "THE UNNAMED | Kirkus Reviews".
  2. ^ McInerney, Jay (January 22, 2010). "Long March". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Man Booker Prize: Howard Jacobson makes shortlist". BBC News. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Joshua Ferris wins Dylan Thomas Prize 2014" Archived 2014-11-11 at the Wayback Machine, Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize homepage, November 7th 2014
  5. ^ Wroe, Nicholas (7 November 2014). "Joshua Ferris wins Dylan Thomas prize". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Past Winners - Fiction". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 2020-01-20.

External links[edit]