In 2007 Joshua Ferris’ first novel, Then We Came to the End, was one of the most widely acclaimed books of the year. It made just about everybody’s top ten list and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In it, Ferris invented a style (first person plural all the way) and wedged fiction into the workplace as tightly as it could be wedged. It was also hysterically funny. Ferris will read for us from his second novel, The Unnamed, a much darker piece of literature about a small family whose cohesion is destroyed by lawyer Tim Farnsworth’s compulsion to keep walking away from his life, driving his family and colleagues to near madness. He goes to doctors and therapists but no one can come up with a diagnosis or a strategy that will just keep him still. The Unnamed is written with heavy irony and a Post 9/11 darkness; amazing from a young writer, whose long suit seemed to be satire.
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