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 agency clients are award-winning writers of the highest caliber literary fiction and nonfiction, including memoir, biography, history, science, philosophy, and literature. In nonfiction, Janet's clients include Cheryl Strayed, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. She also represents Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human: What AI Teaches Us About Being Alive, which was named a "Best Book of the Year" by The New Yorker and featured on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and NPR's "Radiolab." Among the award-winning novelists Janet represents are Monique Truong, author of the acclaimed bestseller The Book of Salt and most recently Bitter in the Mouth; Michael Byers, author of the The Coast of Good Intentions, Long for This World, and Percival's Planet; and Christopher Castellani, whose third novel, All This Talk of Love, appears in 2013.
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 Best American Essays, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. Their awards and honors include the Guggenheim Fellowship; the Whiting Award; the Asian-American Literary Award; the Pushcart Prize; the O.Henry Award; the Stegner Fellowship; and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.
Janet's clients benefit from both her extensive inside knowledge of the publishing process and her highly regarded, in-depth editorial insight. At Houghton Mifflin, she edited works by such celebrated authors as Philip Roth, Tim O'Brien, Cynthia Ozick, Jonathan Safran Foer, Anita Desai, and John Edgar Wideman, and she launched the careers of many acclaimed 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 Silver holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Chicago. She has lectured 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.