Daniel Silva biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Daniel Silva
Photo: John Earle

Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva Biography

Daniel Silva knew from an early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master's degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel and they were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington and went to work for CNN and became Executive Producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 he confessed to Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller The Unlikely Spy. He left CNN in 1997 after the book's successful publication and began writing full time. Since then all of Silva's books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 30 languages and are published around the world.

The Messenger was awarded the 2007 Barry Award for Best Thriller and The Fallen Angel received the 2013 Barry Award for Best Thriller. In January 2009, Silva was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

Daniel Silva's website

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Interview

Daniel Silva discusses his writing, why he is fascinated with the spy thriller genre, the research he undertook to write The English Assassin, and the inspiration for his lead character Gabriel Allon, who also appears in Silva's latest book The Confessor

How did you become interested in the subject of Switzerland's Nazi collaboration as a topic for a book?
I've always been interested in WWII in general, and I've read a lot of WWII history. The secret history of Switzerland during the war is mind blowing. It's such a fascinating and strange country – there really is this national preoccupation with secrecy at all levels. And I've always been interested in art…. So the history of Nazi art looting, and of how all these paintings and other works of art made their way into Switzerland, was a natural. It's just something that I've always found engrossing, and at some point it became clear that it would make excellent material for a thriller.

You quote Jean Ziegler's The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead at the beginning of this book. Was that book, which was about looted gold, not art, of course, in any way an inspiration for this one? Did you read any of the other books about Swiss banks and Nazi gold that came out around the same time?
I decided on this topic – looted art – first, and the Swiss connection came second. Yes, I think it was Nazi art first, Switzerland second. But Ziegler's book was just such a lyrical and...

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Books by this Author

Books by Daniel Silva at BookBrowse
The Black Widow jacket The Fallen Angel jacket Portrait of a Spy jacket The Rembrandt Affair jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Daniel Silva 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 readalikes

  • John Altman

    John Altman

    John Altman is a musician and freelance writer living in New York City. A graduate of Harvard, he comes from an extended family of writers, including the novelists Karen Bender, Aimee Bender, and Robert Anthony Siegel.

    In... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The English Assassin

    Try:
    A Gathering of Spies
    by John Altman

  • Charles Cumming

    Charles Cumming

    Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Ludgrove School (1979-1984), Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Death In Vienna

    Try:
    The Trinity Six
    by Charles Cumming

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