Presenter of the National Book Awards

2013 National Book Award Longlist, Fiction

Joan Silber

Fools by Joan Silber


W.W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 978-0393088700

About the Book

When is it wise to be a fool for something? What makes people want to be better than they are? From New York to India to Paris, from the Catholic Worker movement to Occupy Wall Street, the characters in Joan Silber’s dazzling new story cycle tackle this question head-on.

Vera, the shy, anarchist daughter of missionary parents, leaves her family for love and activism in New York. A generation later, her own doubting daughter insists on the truth of being of two minds, even in marriage. The adulterous son of a Florida hotel owner steals money from his family and departs for Paris, where he takes up with a young woman and finds himself outsmarted in turn. Fools ponders the circle of winners and losers, dupers and duped, and the price we pay for our beliefs.

Fools is a luminous, intelligent, and rewarding work of fiction from the author for whom the Boston Globe said, "No other writer can make a few small decisions ripple across the globe, and across time, with more subtlety and power."


> Silber's website:

> Silber was a National Book Award Fiction Finalist in 2004 for Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories

Silber's appreciation from the NBF's The Contenders, NBA Fiction Finalists Online Exhibition: