By Sean Ferrell
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061946509, 288pp.)
Publication Date: August 2010
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Early one morning after a sandstorm had ripped through north Texas I wandered into Mr. Tilly's circus. I wore a black suit and blood ran down my face. When some of the carnies came up to me, I said, "I'm numb." This became my name.
A man with no memory who feels no pain, Numb travels to New York City after a short stint with the circus, following the one and only clue he holds to his hidden history: a brittle, bloodstained business card. But once there, word of his condition rapidly spreadssparked by the attention he attracts by letting people nail his hands to wooden bars for moneyand he quickly finds himself hounded on all sides by those who would use his unique ability in their own pursuits of fame and fortune. It is a strange world indeed that Numb numbly stumbles through, surrounded by crowds of suck-ups and opportunists, as he confronts life's most basic and difficult question: Who am I?
Sean Ferrell's Numb is a wildly entertaining examination of identity, friendship, pain, and the cult of celebrity that heralds the arrival of a fresh and uniquely inventive literary voice.
Sean Ferrell's story "Building an Elephant" won the Fulton Prize from The Adirondack Review; his short stories have appeared in Bossa Nova Ink, WORDS, Uber, and The Cafe Irreal. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York. Numb is his first novel.
“There are captivating moments and passages.... [Numb] has a lot of heart.”
“Ferrell’s eye-catching debut is a mordant take on contemporary culture.... Artfully barbed entertainment.”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org