Joshua Ferris may not be a new name, but it's taken me until now to catch up with his work, thanks to a story in last week's New Yorker called The Dinner Party. This reminded me to check out his debut novel, Then We Came to the End, for which I'd seen glowing reviews when it appeared last year. Good comic writers are rare, but Ferris is a painfully acute observer of everyday rituals, and genuinely funny with it. Read the first chapter of his novel in the New York Times.
Tobias Wolff, on the other hand, is a writer I have long admired. The publication of his latest collection, Our Story Begins, is an excellent excuse to link to Awake, which is in the current edition of the New Yorker. Wolff is arguably the finest living exponent of the short story form. If you are discovering him for the first time, you have a treat in store.
- ► 2009 (14)