Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Improvement by Joan Silber

Improvement

Best Seller
Improvement by Joan Silber
Paperback $16.95
Aug 21, 2018 | ISBN 9781640091139

Also available from:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Aug 21, 2018 | ISBN 9781640091139

    Also available from:

  • Nov 14, 2017 | ISBN 9781619029606

    Also available from:

  • Nov 01, 2017 | ISBN 9781619029712

    Available from:

*This title is not eligible for purchase to earn points nor for redemption with your code in the Reader Rewards program

Product Details

Praise

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
Winner of the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
Long–listed for the 2020 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice


“Without fuss or flourishes, Joan Silber weaves a remarkably patterned tapestry connecting strangers from around the world to a central tragic car accident. The writing here is funny and down–to–earth, the characters are recognizably fallible, and the message is quietly profound: We are not ever really alone, however lonely we feel.” —The Wall Street Journal

“This is a novel of richness and wisdom and huge pleasure. Silber knows, and reveals, how close we live to the abyss, but she also revels in joy, particularly the joy that comes from intimate relationships . . . A perfectly balanced mix of celebration and wryness.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Both the plot and the prose maintain an absorbing momentum.” —The New Yorker

“It feels vital to love Silber’s work, which has been too little loved, too little mentioned, beyond a small readership that seems to be composed mostly of other writers. Silber is 72, and with Improvement has written at least three truly great books. Now is the moment to appreciate that she is here, in our midst: our country’s own Alice Munro. Silber’s great theme as a writer is the way in which humans are separated from their intentions, by desires, ideas, time . . . Like Grace Paley and Lucia Berlin, she’s a master of talking a story past its easiest meaning; like Munro, a master of the compression and dilation of time, what time and nothing else can reveal to people about themselves. She has an American voice: silvery, within arm’s length of old cadences, but also limber, thieving, marked by occasional raids on slang and jargon, at ease both high and low, funny, tenderhearted, sharp. It gives her the rare ability to reach the deepest places in the plainest ways.” —The Washington Post

“There’s always room for Joan Silber’s Improvement.” —Vanity Fair

“If your must–read this month is a love–and–loss story seasoned with single motherhood and smuggling schemes, National Book Award finalist Joan Silber’s Improvement hits the sexy sweet spot from page one.” —Elle

“My revelation of the year was the writing of Joan Silber . . . I was immediately captivated by her fictional method, a cross between the novel and linked stories, in which a minor character in one chapter will become a major figure in another. This connect–the–dots narrative structure makes possible wide leaps over time and space, while still offering that sense of connection and emotional depth that makes the best fiction so satisfying.” —Ruth Franklin, The Paris Review

“I am embarrassed to admit that I missed Joan Silber’s Improvement when it first came out, in 2017, but not so embarrassed that I won’t still recommend it now. It’s that good.” —Alessandra Codinha, Vogue

ImprovementThe Believer


Improvement is a tapestry of interweaving narratives tied together by two unconventional women—an aunt and her niece who defy family expectations . . . That Silber is a writer’s writer just means that her diverse cast of characters never feel anything but authentic, and her prose is both precise on the sentence level and masterly in structure.” —Vulture

“There is something so refreshing and genuine about this book, coming partly from the bumpy weave of its unpredictable story and partly from its sharply turned yet refreshingly unmannered prose. A winner.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Get the latest updates from Joan Silber
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Dismiss
Thanks!
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top