In Joshua Ferris’s third novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, he ponders the deep questions about the meaning of life and the feeling of belonging somewhere with a biting wit that will have his readers cackling with glee. The novel revolves around a dentist named Paul O’Rourke who absolutely adores the creature comforts of modern life but his inner life is in shambles–his dental practice is failing miserably and he’s still recovering from his father’s suicide.
To make matters worse, an impostor creates social media profiles and starts impersonating him online. While investigating who stole his identity, his search leads him to a shadowy group called the Ulms who are obsessed with genealogy and how it ties in with religion. Although O’Rourke is skeptical of their claims, he finds himself pondering what’s real and what’s not in the virtual world of the Internet.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, June 27th, 2014||No Comments »|
The most common writing advice that aspiring authors hear is to “write what you know,” and Iraq War vet Kevin Powers discusses how his experiences helped to shape his debut novel The Yellow Birds in a PBS News Hour interview from October 2012. Although Powers has been writing stories and poems since he was a child, he felt that he “needed a larger canvas” to help answer the question on everyone’s tongues: “What was it like over there?” Even though the actual events of the novel are a work of fiction, Powers does point out that “the emotional core” of the book is based off of his own feelings. The interview is a fascinating and heart-breaking look at how scarred our veterans are and the importance of being able to use fiction to help the general public understand just how horrific war can be.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, March 13th, 2014||No Comments »|