From Naz to "Numb"

Nazareth alumnus and Fairport, N.Y. native, Sean Ferrell '94, has broken into the writing world with his first novel Numb. The novel, published by HarperCollins, was just released in early August. It has already received critical praise from Publishers Weekly: "There are captivating moments and passages.... [Numb] has a lot of heart," and Kirkus Reviews: "Ferrell's eye-catching debut is a mordant take on contemporary culture.... Artfully barbed entertainment."

Numb, a man who feels no pain and has no memory of how he came to be this way, travels to New York City after a short stint in the circus to search for the answers to his past. But when word of his condition spreads--sparked by the attention he attracts from letting people nail his hands to bars for money--he quickly finds himself hounded on all sides by those who would use his unique ability in their own pursuits of fame and fortune. There's the best friend who doesn't quite know how to handle Numb's newfound celebrity, the savvy talent agent who may or may not have Numb's best interests in mind, the sadistic supermodel whose idea of a good time involves lion claws and can openers, and the blind girlfriend who might actually see something in Numb others don't. As Numb navigates this strange world, and as he continues to search for clues from his past, he is forced to confront one of life's toughest questions: Who am I?

Ferrell earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and an English writing concentration from Nazareth and earned his master's of fine arts in writing from Emerson College. His story "Building an Elephant" won the Fulton Prize from The Adirondack Review. His writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Bossa Nova Ink, WORDS, Uber, The Cafe Irreal and Popmatters. Numb is his first novel. He lives with his family in Brooklyn. You can visit him online at