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The Center for Fiction Presents Lisa Gornick on Ana Turns with Joan Silber

November 8, 2023

We welcomed Lisa Gornick (The Peacock Feast, Louisa Meets Bear) to The Center for Fiction to discuss Ana Turns, her latest novel. Ana Turns unspools over the twenty-four hours of a woman’s sixtieth birthday, as she grapples with issues from addiction to marital fidelity to family betrayals; the novel contemplates the acute heartaches that come from decades of womanhood, bringing a fresh perspective to the literary stage. Gornick was joined by Joan Silber (Secrets of Happiness) to discuss depicting mature and complex female characters in literature and finding happiness for one’s characters and oneself.

In conversation

  • credit Sigrid Estrada - Eliana Cohen-Orth

    Lisa Gornick

    Lisa Gornick

    Lisa Gornick is the author of four previous books, most recently The Peacock Feast and Louisa Meets Bear, both published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Picador. Her essays have appeared widely, including in the New York Times, the Paris Review, Real Simple, and the Wall Street Journal. A graduate of the Yale clinical psychology program and the psychoanalytic training program at Columbia, where she is on the faculty, she was for many years a practicing psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. She lives in New York City with her family. You can learn about Lisa and her work at

    Photo Credit: Sigrid Estrada

  • joan silber - Eliana Cohen-Orth

    Joan Silber

    Joan Silber

    Joan Silber is the author of nine books of fiction. Her most recent is Secrets of Happiness, listed as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Book Review and one of the most anticipated books of the year by Buzzfeed, the Millions, and LitHub. Her novel, Improvement, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and she received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her book Fools was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Size of the World was a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize; and Ideas of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She’s also the author of The Art of Time in Fiction. She lives in New York and taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.