Vox Tablet

Joshua Ferris Takes on All Kinds of Decay in His Ambitious New Novel

‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour’ wrestles with faith, community, baseball, and what it means to refuse to fill your cavities

May 19, 2014
(Erik Mace)
(Erik Mace)

The novelist Joshua Ferris made a splash in 2007 with his debut Then We Came to the End. The critically acclaimed book was a hilarious, biting satire about employees in a collapsing ad agency in Chicago at the end of the dot-com era. Ferris followed it up in 2010 with The Unnamed, a somewhat darker novel about a Manhattan lawyer who just wants to be walking; it’s an urge he cannot resist, and it undoes his life.

Now Ferris is out with a new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. With the help of a somewhat petulant, loner dentist the book takes on existential dread, what it means to be a Jew, and Red Sox fandom in a mix of the absurd, the droll, and the profound. Ferris joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss what compels him about belonging to a faith community, what kind of research—biblical and medical—he had to undertake to write his novel, and why he envies the Jews.

Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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