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A Calling for Charlie Barnes

A Calling for Charlie Barnes

by Joshua Ferris
A Calling for Charlie Barnes

A Calling for Charlie Barnes

by Joshua Ferris


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Listen to Joshua Ferris in conversation about A Calling for Charlie Barnes on Poured Over: The B&N Podcast


Notes From Your Bookseller

It's obvious that Ferris had a ball while he was writing his wildly funny story of an all-around American guy, a divorced dad with more than a couple of secrets. And when Charlie's handed a second chance, he takes it with the help of his son, a writer. Like Ayad Akhtar's Homeland Elegies or Commonwealth by Ann Patchett, this novel is driven by a big question: Who owns a story? If you've read Then We Came to the End you know just how funny Joshua Ferris is. (And if you're a fan of The Office and haven't read Then We Came to the End, what are you waiting for?)

Named a best book of the year by NPR, Vogue, and the New York Times Book Review, the hilarious and profound new novel from National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris is “a fine American novel about family, love, and a decent but flawed man trying to be better" (Stephen King). 

Someone is telling the story of the life of Charlie Barnes, and it doesn't appear to be going well. Too often divorced, discontent with life's compromises and in a house he hates, this lifelong schemer and eternal romantic would like out of his present circumstances and into the American dream. But when the twin calamities of the Great Recession and a cancer scare come along to compound his troubles, his dreams dwindle further, and an infinite past full of forking paths quickly tapers to a black dot.

Then, against all odds, something goes right for a change: Charlie is granted a second act. With help from his storyteller son, he surveys the facts of his life and finds his true calling where he least expects it—in a sacrifice that redounds with selflessness and love—at last becoming the man his son always knew he could be.

A Calling for Charlie Barnes is a profound and tender portrait of a man whose desperate need to be loved is his downfall, and a brutally funny account of how that love is ultimately earned.

“A masterpiece that shines a revealing light on both family and fiction itself.” —Michael Schaub, NPR

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316333535
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/28/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 299,078
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Joshua Ferris is the author of three previous novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was named one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers in 2010. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour won the Dylan Thomas Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

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