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2014: Joshua Ferris, 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour'

Joshua Ferris’s third novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, drew praise from the judges for its unique humour and impressive ability to distil comedy from human tragedy. The novel was also shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize in the first year American works were eligible.

Joshua’s first novel, Then We Came to the End, received the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2008, and his work has appeared in Granta, Tin House, and The New Yorker.

In 2017, Joshua put his observant eye and keen wit to work on The Dinner Party, a collection of short stories that takes a deadpan approach to modern masculinity with devastating effect.

2014: Joshua Ferris, 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour'

Synopsis - 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour'

Paul O'Rourke is a man made of contradictions: he loves the world, but doesn't know how to live in it. He's a Luddite addicted to his iPhone, a dentist with a nicotine habit, a rabid Red Sox fan devastated by their victories, and an atheist not quite willing to let go of God.

Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name. What begins as an outrageous violation of his privacy soon becomes something more soul-frightening: the possibility that the online "Paul" might be a better version of the real thing. As Paul's quest to learn why his identity has been stolen deepens, he is forced to confront his troubled past and his uncertain future in a life disturbingly split between the real and the virtual.

At once laugh-out-loud funny about the absurdities of the modern world, and indelibly profound about the eternal questions of the meaning of life, love and truth, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is a deeply moving and constantly surprising tour de force.

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Interviews

Joshua Ferris - 2014 Winner

In this episode, Cultural Institute intern Eddie Matthews talks to award-winning writer Joshua Ferris