Paperback edition released 03/10/2019

by Joan Silber

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories Crime and Mystery Family Drama Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Improvement

A rich, raw, masterfully resonant novel about the essential interconnectedness of humanity - the butterfly effect in bold, beautiful book form.

As a young woman, Kiki lived and loved in Turkey, but returned to America after not taking to the isolated, ramshackle farm she and her husband moved to. Some thirty years on - single, widely read, worldly wise, but endowed with an endearing lack of pretension - Kiki connects deeper with her niece Reyna. When Reyna pulls out of driving for a criminal scheme her ex-con boyfriend is involved in, her act of defiance sets a succession of life-changing events in motion, waves that surge far and transform lives around the globe. 

The structure deftly weaves together different sets of people who are loosely linked by strands of shared experiences and events, such as the German travellers Kiki met on her former husband’s farm in Turkey. The stories of the various narrators are powerful, mesmeric and smoothly readable - I shall be seeking out everything this author has written.

Joanne Owen

Improvement Synopsis

'Improvement is a major work of literature.' - Nick Hornby, The Believer Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn't perfect, yet as she visits him throughout his three-month stint in prison, their bond grows tighter. Kiki, now settled in New York after a journey that took her to Turkey and around the world, admires her niece's spirit but worries that she always picks the wrong man. Little does she know that the otherwise honourable Boyd is pulling Reyna into a scheme which violates his probation. When Reyna ultimately decides to remove herself for the sake of her four-year-old child, her small act of resistance sets into motion a tapestry of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them. A novel that examines conviction, connection and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki's beloved Turkish rugs and as colourful as the tattoos decorating Reyna's body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us. The Boston Globe says of Joan Silber 'No other writer can make a few small decisions ripple across the globe, and across time, with more subtlety and power.' Improvement is Silber's most shining achievement yet.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781911630074
Publication date: 3rd October 2019
Author: Joan Silber
Publisher: Allen & Unwin an imprint of Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781911630074
Publication date: 03/10/2019
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781911630067
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781538473795
Publication date: 14/11/2017
Format: Ebook

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About Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. Her previous book, Fools (2013), was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World (2008), Ideas of Heaven (2004), Lucky Us (2001), In My Other Life (2000), In the City (1987) and Household Words (1980), winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award. She is also the author of The Art of Time in Fiction (2009). In 2018 she received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. She lives in New York and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA ...

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