In her new collection Bark the great short story writer Lorrie Moore explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and comic pitfalls. Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives. Moore’s characteristic style is always tender, never sentimental and often heartbreakingly funny. Ferris’s dazzling new novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is about the meaning of life, the certainty of death, and the importance of good oral hygiene. They talk to Ted Hodgkinson.