Ferris, Joshua 1974–
Ferris, Joshua 1974–
Writer. Davis Harrison Dion, Chicago, IL, advertising staff member, 1998; Draft Worldwide, Chicago, former staff member.
Glenn Schaeffer Prize, for an emerging writer.
Then We Came to the End: A Novel, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to anthologies, including Best New American Stories and New Stories from the South: Best of 2007. Contributor of short fiction to periodicals, including the Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and Phoebe.
Joshua Ferris is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he studied English and philosophy, and of the M.F.A. program at the University of California at Irvine. His short stories have appeared in various publications, including the Iowa Review, Best New American Stories, Prairie Schooner, Phoebe, and New Stories from the South: Best of 2007. While working on his writing in his spare time, Ferris was employed as a copywriter for an advertising agency in Chicago, a job that served as the inspiration for his debut, Then We Came to the End: A Novel. Published to both critical and popular praise, the book began as a form of catharsis, into which he poured his frustrations regarding his day job. However, the eventual result was instead a book about the average worker and his feelings regarding corporate America in a time of economic downturns and layoffs. The book is also noted for its stylistic achievement, in that its viewpoint is first person plural. Alden Mudge, in a review for BookPage, noted: "This choral voice is technically difficult. But the effect here is both exhilarating and thought-provoking." James Poniewozik, writing in the New York Times Book Review Online, called Ferris's effort "expansive, great-hearted, and acidly funny." Stephen Morrow, writing in the Library Journal, remarked that "with so many books on office life, it's nice to see someone add fresh spark and originality to the subject." A critic for Kirkus Reviews praised the book, stating that it "succeeds as both a wickedly incisive satire of office groupthink and a surprisingly moving meditation on mortality and the ties that band."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advertising Age, March 5, 2007, Simon Dumenco, "Overthink This: Your World Just Came Out in Hardcover," p. 30.
Books, March 11, 2007, Art Winslow, "Down and Out at a Chicago Ad Agency: Office Culture, Layoffs Provide Backdrop for Energetic Debut Novel," p. 3.
Campaign, October 13, 2006, "Diary: Draft Man Swaps Focus Groups for Feature Films," p. 23.
Entertainment Weekly, March 2, 2007, Tina Jordan, review of Then We Came to the End: A Novel, p. 72.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2006, review of Then We Came to the End, p. 1234.
Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Stephen Morrow, review of Then We Came to the End, p. 91.
London Review of Books, July 19, 2007, Christopher Tayler, "Walk Spanish," p. 19.
New Yorker, March 26, 2007, review of Then We Came to the End, p. 91.
O, the Oprah Magazine, March, 2007, Vince Passaro, "The Office: A Funny, Fanged Novel about Showing Up for Work at an Ax-wielding Ad Agency," p. 196.
Publishers Weekly, January 8, 2007, review of Then We Came to the End, p. 32.
Spectator, March 31, 2007, Eric Weinberger, "We Also Do Some Work."
Times Literary Supplement, April 6, 2007, Nicholas Clee, "Routine Regrets," p. 23.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (October 3, 2007), Alden Mudge, "All in a Day's Work," interview with Joshua Ferris.
Hachette Book Group USA,http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/ (October 3, 2007), author profile.
Mostly Fiction Book Reviews,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (March 28, 2007), Poornima Apte, review of Then We Came to the End.
New York Times Book Review Online,http://www.nytimes.com/ (March 18, 2007), James Poniewozik, "Pink Slip Blues," review of Then We Came to the End.
PopEntertainment.com,http://www.popentertainment.com/ (May 17, 2007), Ronald Sklar, "Joshua Ferris Is Not Close to the End."
PopMatters,http://www.popmatters.com/ (April 4, 2007), Michael Upchurch, review of Then We Came to the End.