Writers Revealed 6.10.07 Joshua Ferris
This week on Writers Revealed: Joshua Ferris, author of the novel Then We Came to the End. We'll be chatting about his novel, the drone of office life, the dot.com era, whether the office is a surrogate of one's home, and what's the deal with Chris Yop and the chair anyway? (hint: it's in the book!). Click here to access the show & we're taking callers so feel free to share your questions, LIVE!
About the Book:
Then We Came to the End charts the end days of a Chicago ad agency caught in the burst new-economy bubble. As the firm’s employees watch those around them laid off and wait for their own walking papers, they obsess over one another’s behavior and the secrets co-workers may or may not be keeping. In Ferris’ descriptions of entire floors closed off and abandoned as the firm shrinks, and of workers clinging to a futile illusion of business as usual, there’s a tragic and palpable hubris. The novel is rich with stirring images, as in this scene of after-hours dormancy:
After everyone went home for the night, after we all fell asleep and the city dimmed, Oldies continued to play inside the abandoned office. Picture it—only a parallelogram of light in the doorway. A happy tune by the Drifters issuing in the dark at two, three o’clock in the morning, when elsewhere murders were taking place, drug deals, unspeakable assaults.
Like the apocryphal story of Nero fiddling as Rome burns, nostalgic Oldies play with no one to listen and herald the assumed safety and detachment of those “inside”—even while they are sleeping at home—from the dangerous world beyond the American office.
- from the Small Spiral Notebook Review
Joshua Ferris's website