We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Joan Silber biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Joan Silber

Joan Silber

Joan Silber Biography

Joan Silber was raised in New Jersey and received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing with Grace Paley. She moved to New York after college and has made it her home ever since. She holds an M.A. from New York University.

She's written nine books of fiction, most recently Secrets of Happiness, published in May 2021. Her novel Improvement won The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She also received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her other works of fiction include Fools, longlisted for the National Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Prize in Fiction, and Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She's also written Lucky Us, In My Other Life, and In the City, and her first book, Household Words, won the PEN/Hemingway Award.

She's the author of The Art of Time in Fiction, a study of how various writers have used time.

Her short fiction has been chosen for the O. Henry Prize, Best American Short Stories, and the Pushcart Prize. Stories have appeared in Tin House, the Southern Review, Ploughshares, the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and other magazines. She's been the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Joan taught fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College for many years and teaches in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. She's also taught at Boston University, the 92nd Street Y, the University of Utah, and New York University. Her summer teaching has included conferences at Napa Valley, Bread Loaf, Indiana University, Manhattanville College, Stonecoast, Aspen, and Sarah Lawrence College.

Joan lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, with her dog, Lucille, and she travels as often as she can, with a particular interest in Asia.

Joan Silber's website

This bio was last updated on 04/16/2021. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Joan Silber at BookBrowse
Secrets of Happiness jacket Improvement jacket Fools jacket The Size of the World jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Joan Silber but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Curtis Dawkins

    Curtis Dawkins

    Curtis Dawkins grew up in rural Illinois and earned an MFA in fiction writing at Western Michigan University. He has struggled with alcohol and substance abuse through most of his life and, during a botched home robbery, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Improvement

    Try:
    The Graybar Hotel
    by Curtis Dawkins

  • Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her novel, Manhattan Beach, published in October 2017, has been awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Her last novel, A... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Secrets of Happiness

    Try:
    A Visit from the Goon Squad
    by Jennifer Egan

We recommend 9 similar authors

View all 9 Read-Alikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Ascent
    The Ascent
    by Adam Plantinga
    Adam Plantinga's brilliant debut novel, The Ascent, introduces readers to former Detroit police ...
  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.