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Marisa Silver

Author of New York Times bestseller Mary Coin

  • About Marisa Silver

    Marisa Silver is the author of five books, including the recent novel Little Nothing. Part allegory about the shifting nature of being, part subversive fairy tale of love in all its guises, Little Nothing spans the beginning of a new century, the disintegration of ancient superstitions, and the adoption of industry and invention. With a cast of remarkable characters, a wholly original story, and stunning prose, Marisa Silver delivers an electric novel about star-crossed lovers in an unnamed country.

    Silver’s other novels include Mary Coin, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award for Fiction, The God of War, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, and No Direction Home. 

    Her first collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. When her second collection, Alone With You was published, The New York Times called her “one of California’s most celebrated contemporary writers.”

    Silver made her fiction debut in The New Yorker when she was featured in that magazine’s first “Debut Fiction” issue. Winner of the O. Henry Prize, her fiction has been included in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies.

  • Speaking Topics

    A Picture is worth 100,000 words – more or less

    Marisa Silver’s bestselling novel, Mary Coin, takes as its inspiration Dorothea Lange’s most famous photograph, “Migrant Mother.” When Silver discovered that the woman in the photograph had never laid claim to her identity until the time of her death, and was, for all intents and purposes, an anonymous figure in American history, she felt compelled to create a fictional version of what this woman’s life might have been. This talk will lead audiences through the process by which Silver created fiction out of history. While exploring the real lives of the women involved in the picture’s making, Silver will also discuss how we look at photography, and whether or not a picture can reveal the truth.

    From Film to Fiction

    Marisa Silver began her career as an award-winning filmmaker. In this lecture she will discuss her transition to becoming a bestselling fiction writer. She will talk about how she came to make what to many seemed like an unlikely decision—to leave the glamorous world of Hollywood for the unglamorous world of the desk in her bedroom.

  • Video

  • Praise for Marisa Silver

    Praise for Little Nothing

    Silver spins a fable-like tale of two star-crossed lovers in Eastern Europe in the early twentieth century…. a gorgeously rendered, imaginative, magical yarn.


    In Little Nothing, the wizardly Marisa Silver conjures a pitch-dark tale with empathy and humor. An emotionally suspenseful allegory, the novel reveals how the world’s expectations can torque a woman’s identity and leave a ferocious ache behind.

    Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies, a National Book Award finalist

    Little Nothing is a magnificent something, an inventive, unexpected story that seamlessly blends fable and folklore into the lives of characters who remain heart-wrenchingly real. That Silver wrestles with nearly unanswerable questions &em; What does it mean to occupy a body? What does it mean to be human? How transformative is love? &em; and still produces an exhilarating page-turner is a testament to her biting, beautiful prose. In addition to being a joy to read, this book challenged and changed me, and I can’t imagine what else anyone would want from a work of art.

    Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

    Star-crossed lovers…Pavla serves to remind readers of the moral of the story, that a good soul can find transcendence in the face of unbearable odds. And in Danilo readers will recognize their own longing for transcendence and meaning as he transforms himself through pain and sorrow to a man of courage and ingenuity.

    Publishers Weekly
  • Books by Marisa Silver

  • Media About Marisa Silver

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and Availability

  • 212 572-2013
  • Marisa Silver travels from Los Angeles, CA

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