The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris
Stories

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My big cavil with the book is this: as a man – and, full disclosure, a somewhat American man – I found its troupe of grotesques exhausting company. The stories so thoroughly impugn their characters for selfishness and delusion that I began to bristle.
-Guardian

Synopsis


One of the most anticipated books of 2017--New York Magazine, The Washington Post, New York Observer, The Millions, Book Riot's "All the Books" Podcast, and Fuse

The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.

These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.

Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption. There's Arty Groys, the Florida retiree whose birthday celebration involves pizza, a prostitute, and a life-saving heart attack. There's Sarah, the Brooklynite whose shape-shifting existential dilemma is set in motion by a simple spring breeze. And there's Jack, a man so warped by past experience that he's incapable of having a normal social interaction with the man he hires to help him move out of storage.

The stories in The Dinner Party are about lives changed forever when the reckless gives way to possibility and the ordinary cedes ground to mystery. And each one confirms Ferris's reputation as one of the most dazzlingly talented, deeply humane writers at work today.

 

About Joshua Ferris

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Joshua Ferris's first novel, Then We Came to the End, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and was a National Book Award finalist. It has been translated into 24 languages. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, Prairie Schooner, and The Iowa Review. He lives in New York.
 
Published May 2, 2017 by Little, Brown and Company. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Dinner Party
All: 4 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 2

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Josh Cook on May 05 2017

For those versed in Ferris’ work, the themes and characters of “The Dinner Party and Other Stories” will seem familiar...Some stories feel underdeveloped. A few of the marriages gone awry blur together.

Read Full Review of The Dinner Party: Stories | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by WILL BLYTHE on May 10 2017

Dynamic with speed, yet rich with novelistic density, his stories make “The Dinner Party” a full-fledged feast, especially for readers with a particular taste for the many flavors of American crazy.

Read Full Review of The Dinner Party: Stories | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by MARCEL THEROUX on Jun 21 2017

My big cavil with the book is this: as a man – and, full disclosure, a somewhat American man – I found its troupe of grotesques exhausting company. The stories so thoroughly impugn their characters for selfishness and delusion that I began to bristle.

Read Full Review of The Dinner Party: Stories | See more reviews from Guardian

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by James Grainger on Jun 02 2017

Given the stories’ focus on typically unbearable human specimens, some readers may want to stagger their consumption of The Dinner Party, breaking up its courses with lighter fare.

Read Full Review of The Dinner Party: Stories | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for The Dinner Party
75%

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