News & Events

Best-selling Novelist to Give Reading at Illinois Wesleyan 

Ferris
Joshua Ferris
Feb. 23, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Best-selling and critically acclaimed author Joshua Ferris will give a reading of his latest work, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, on March 18 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta English honor society, Tributaries and Lyrical Graffiti, the free event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center and is open to the public.

Published in 2014, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour follows an atheist dentist and Red Sox fan who longs to be a part of the Jewish community—even though he doesn’t believe in God. Hailed as “an impressive investigation of faith and doubt” by The Paris Review, the novel won the Dylan Thomas Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was chosen as a Best Book of 2014 by National Public Radio.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour discusses issues like identity theft, religion, technology and, oddly enough, oral hygiene,” said Erica Kucharski ’15, co-president of Sigma Tau Delta. “It's hilarious and absurd at times, but really makes you think about your place in the world.”

Joe Ruskey ’15, co-president of Sigma Tau Delta, invited Ferris to campus. “What separates Ferris from other writers is that his novels delve into challenges our generation constantly faces, and the tone and voice of his writing provides the reader with a sense of truth that is not often seen,” Ruskey said.           

Born in Danville, Illinois, Ferris earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from the University of California-Irvine. Ferris’ first novel, Then We Came to the End, is a satire of a Chicago advertising agency at the end of the dot-com boom. The national bestseller was a 2007 National Book Award finalist and a 2007 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction winner. In 2010, Ferris published The Unnamed, about a marriage, a family, and the unseen forces of nature and desire.

Ferris has also published numerous short stories appearing in The Iowa Review, Best American Short Stories, Tin House, The Guardian and The New Yorker, among others. He was named to The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list of ‘fiction writers worth watching’ and is a winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Award.

By Tia Patsavas ’16