Anita Shreve attributes the occasional dark streak in her work to the influence of Eugene O'Neill, whom she discovered as a senior in high school, having barely recovered from her junior year love affair with Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Shreve became a Boston high school teacher but quit to spend three years in Nairobi, Kenya, reporting for African magazine. Back in the United States, Shreve worked with a number of magazines until her first novel, Eden Close, was published in 1989. 16 more novels followed, including the 25th Oprah's Book Club selection, The Pilot's Wife. In spring 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and that fall The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in theaters. Her novel Resistance was turned into the 2003 movie starring Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond.