Janet Silver, the Literary Director of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, brings more than thirty years of experience as an editor and publishing executive to her work as an agent. She joined ZSH after 25 years at the former Houghton Mifflin Company, where she was Vice President and Publisher.
Janet's clients are award-winning and bestselling writers of the highest caliber literary fiction and nonfiction, including memoir, biography, history, science, philosophy, and poetry. Her authors include Cheryl Strayed, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, which has sold 2 million copies and is now a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon. Among her other celebrated clients are the widely acclaimed Anthony Marra, whose debut novel A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was a New York Times Best Seller and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award; Monique Truong, winner of the Asian American Literary Award for her novel The Book of Salt; Michael Byers, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for his story collection The Coast of Good Intentions; novelist Christopher Castellani, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and author most recently of All This Talk of Love; and Hanna Pylväinen, winner of a Whiting Award for her novel We Sinners.
Many writers on Janet's list have been featured in prestigious publications, including The New Yorker; The Atlantic; Wired; The Paris Review; The New York Times Magazine; The Wall Street Journal; Harper's; The Best American Essays; The Best American Short Stories; and elsewhere. In addition to the honors for the authors noted above, her clients have won many other awards, including the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the Pushcart Prize, the O.Henry Award; the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the L.A. Times Book Prize.
Janet's clients benefit from both her extensive inside knowledge of the publishing process and her highly regarded, in-depth editorial insight. At the former Houghton Mifflin, she worked with such esteemed authors as Philip Roth, Tim O'Brien, Jonathan Safran Foer, Cynthia Ozick, and John Edgar Wideman, and she launched the careers of many prize-winning young writers, including Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl; and Jhumpa Lahiri, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. As Publisher, Janet oversaw the release of such groundbreaking bestsellers as Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion and Jerome Groopman's How Doctors Think.
Janet holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Chicago. She lectures on the publishing industry nationwide and has been featured in Poets and Writers, Boston Magazine, and "The Emily Rooney Show" on WGBH TV. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the advisory board of Ploughshares magazine.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
By Cheryl Strayed | Vintage Books, 2013
A National Bestseller; An "Oprah Book Club" Selection; Winner: Barnes & Noble Discover Award, Indie Choice Award, Oregon Book Award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, Midwest Booksellers Choice Award
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
By Anthony Marra | Hogarth, 2013
Winner: National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize; Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction; Carla Furstenberg Cohen Fiction Award
Two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together. "On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones." Havaa, eight years old, hides in the woods and watches the blaze until her neighbor, Akhmed, discovers her sitting in the snow. Akhmed knows getting involved means risking his life, and there is no safe place to hide a child in a village where informers will do anything for a loaf of bread, but for reasons of his own, he sneaks her through the forest to the one place he thinks she might be safe: an abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. Though Sonja protests that her hospital is not an orphanage, Akhmed convinces her to keep Havaa for a trial, and over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja's world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate.