Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver (born April 23, 1960) is an American author, screenwriter and film director.

Marisa Silver
Marisa Silver 2016.jpg
Silver at the 2016 Texas Book Festival
Born (1960-04-23) April 23, 1960 (age 60)
OccupationAuthor, film director, screenwriter
Spouse(s)Ken Kwapis

Film workEdit

Marisa Silver directed her first film, Old Enough, while she studied at Harvard University. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1984, when Silver was 23. Silver went on to direct three more feature films, Permanent Record (1988), with Keanu Reeves, Vital Signs (1990) with Diane Lane and Jimmy Smits, and He Said, She Said (1991), with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins. The latter was co-directed with her husband-to-be, Ken Kwapis.

Literary workEdit

After making her career in Hollywood, she switched her profession and entered graduate school to become a short story writer. Her first short story appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 2000[1] and subsequently several more stories have been published there.

Marisa Silver said "I felt very strongly that the stories I was telling weren’t the stories I wanted to tell, that what interested me — human behavior, the nuance of character, the life that exists in shadows and moments — was not, for the most part, the stuff of film. I knew I wanted to tell stories but I had a very profound realization that I was working in the wrong medium."[2]

For graduate school Marisa Silver attended a low residency program at Warren Wilson College, where she would later teach. Silver studied with Antonya Nelson, Robert Boswell, and Geoffrey Wolff. Silver says of her teachers "More than anything, they taught me how to read like a writer, how to understand how craft is used in others work and so begin to see how I might apply it in my own work. I think it’s pretty hard to teach a person how to write, but you can teach them how to read."[2]

Silver published the short-story collection, Babe in Paradise, in 2001.[3] That collection was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. A story from the collection was included in The Best American Short Stories 2000. In 2005, W. W. Norton & Company published her novel, No Direction Home.[4] Her novel The God of War was published in April 2008 by Simon & Schuster. Her second short-story collection, Alone with You, was published in 2010, and her third novel, Mary Coin, in 2013.

She was a visiting Senior Lecturer at the Otis College Graduate Writing Program in 2017 and also on the fiction faculty at Warren Wilson College.

She was awarded the 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Fiction.[5]

Her most recent work, a novel titled Little Nothing, was released September 13, 2016.[6][7]

Personal lifeEdit

Silver was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, to Raphael Silver, a film director and producer, and Joan Micklin Silver, a director.

She and Kwapis have two sons.[8] They reside in Los Angeles.[9][2]


  1. ^ "Debut Fiction: The Passenger" The New Yorker, June 19, 2000, p. 114. Accessed November 12, 2009
  2. ^ a b c Alger, Derek (July 1, 2010). "Marisa Silver". Pif Magazine.
  3. ^ Veale, Scott. "New & Noteworthy Paperbacks", The New York Times, October 6, 2002. Accessed March 16, 2008.
  4. ^ McKenzie, Elizabeth. "'No Direction Home': Random Family", The New York Times, August 14, 2005. Accessed March 16, 2008.
  5. ^ "Marisa Silver". John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Marisa Silver". Marisa Silver. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  7. ^ Silver, Marisa (13 September 2016). Little Nothing - Marisa Silver - Google Books. ISBN 9780698146808. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  8. ^ Pennington, Gail (2020-10-02). "Ken Kwapis, who got 'The Office' off the ground, has advice for aspiring directors". Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  9. ^ Rochlin, Margy (January 30, 2009). "Keeping Things Human Size, Despite the Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2011.

External linksEdit