How can work be generous to its characters but not stupidly innocent, not ignorant of human nature? We’ll look at examples by Anton Chekhov, David Malouf, Colm Toibin, Edward P. Jones, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Joan Silber is the author of nine books of fiction. Her most recent is Secrets of Happiness, listed as an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times Book Review and one of the most anticipated books of the year by Buzzfeed, The Millions, and LitHub.
Her novel, Improvement, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and she received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her book Fools was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Size of the World was a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize; and Ideas of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She lives in New York, taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College, and frequently teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.