Short stories by Joan Silber
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 eight books of fiction. Her first book, the novel Household Words won the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her other works of fiction are In the City, In My Other Life, Lucky Us, Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize, The Size of the World, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Prize in Fiction, and Fools, longlisted for the National Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her novel, Improvement, won The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. She’s also the author of The Art of Time in Fiction. 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. Her short fiction has been chosen for the O. Henry Prize, Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. Stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Epoch, Agni, Tin House, The Southern Review, The Colorado Review, and other magazines. Joan teaches fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She’s also taught at New York University, the University of Utah, Boston University, and the 92nd Street Y. 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.
Listing 17 stories.
A young woman feels trapped in her own life, bound to her convict boyfriend and young son. The woman's worldly aunt encourages her to move away and start over.
A young man recently dumped by his boyfriend finds both solace and conviction in memories of his past and an unusual romantic memoir from the 1950s. But the more he delves into the book and his memories, the greater his feelings of pain and regret.
A man reminisces on his youth working as a bartender in New York, 1969. He's stressed about money and the cook in the bar gets him into drugs, to which his girlfriend is opposed.
Two worlds collide at an upper-class event, where a man working for a charity grovels for donations, and a millionaire French aristocrat looks for a cause that will make her seem altruistic.
An older female employee at a video store mentors a younger girl about the idea of agency, trying to prevent the girl from developing a relationship with an older man who does not have her best intentions in mind.
A married woman has a conversation with her friend's ex-boyfriend who expresses his regret for a series of failed relationships. Though the woman is happily married, these conversations remind her of her own regrets and abusive ex-husband.
A woman in an uninspired marriage to an older man prepares to leave him. After he slips in the tub and injures himself, she must decide if she should still go.
A young anarchist woman married to a man with the same political views navigates the complexities of religion and forbidden attraction as she watches her friends' marriage collapse due to the wife's conversion to Christianity.
A man is forced to confront his disdain for religion when he develops a relationship with a Jewish woman who converts to Islam. Even after separating, their differing approaches to faith cause them to continually clash until the man finally recognizes what divides them.
A drug counselor grows anxious about leaving her career in New York City and moving upstate, where she will dedicate herself to her partner and daughter.