About This Author

Joyce Carol Oates

Oates in 2014
Oates in 2014

Born

June 16, 1938 Lockport, New York, U.S.

Occupation

Novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, literary critic, professor, editor

Nationality

American

Period

1963–present

Notable awards

1967 O. Henry Award 1970 National Book Award 1973 O. Henry Award 2010 National Humanities Medal 2012 Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement 2019 Jerusalem Prize

Spouses

  • Raymond J. Smith ( m.  1961; died  2008 )
  • Charles Gross ( m.  2009)

Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1962 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. She has won many awards for her writing, including the National Book Award, for her novel them , two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal and the Jerusalem Prize . Her novels Black Water , What I Lived For , Blonde , and short story collections, The Wheel of Love and Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories were each finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Oates has taught at Princeton University since 1978 and is currently the Roger S. Berlind '52 Professor Emerita in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing.

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Discover Joyce Carol Oates Quotes and Sayings

Probably nothing serious or worthwhile can be accomplished without one's willingness to be alone for sustained periods of time, which is not to say that one must live alone, obsessively. - Joyce Carol Oates

Probably nothing serious or worthwhile can be accomplished without one's willingness to be alone for sustained periods of time, which is not to say that one must live alone, obsessively.

Joyce Carol Oates

alone
If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space. - Joyce Carol Oates

If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.

Joyce Carol Oates

car
Anyone who teaches knows that you don't really experience a text until you've taught it, in loving detail, with an intelligent and responsive class. - Joyce Carol Oates

Anyone who teaches knows that you don't really experience a text until you've taught it, in loving detail, with an intelligent and responsive class.

Joyce Carol Oates

experience
Yes, I've listened to just a few audiobooks - but hope to listen to more. I've wanted to investigate how my own books sound in this format and find the experience of listening, and not reading, quite fascinating. - Joyce Carol Oates

Yes, I've listened to just a few audiobooks - but hope to listen to more. I've wanted to investigate how my own books sound in this format and find the experience of listening, and not reading, quite fascinating.

Joyce Carol Oates

hope experience
If food is poetry, is not poetry also food? - Joyce Carol Oates

If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?

Joyce Carol Oates

poetry food
To be Jewish is to be specifically identified with a history. And if you're not aware of that when you're a child, the whole tradition is lost. - Joyce Carol Oates

To be Jewish is to be specifically identified with a history. And if you're not aware of that when you're a child, the whole tradition is lost.

Joyce Carol Oates

history
It seems disingenuous to ask a writer why she, or he, is writing about a violent subject when the world and history are filled with violence. - Joyce Carol Oates

It seems disingenuous to ask a writer why she, or he, is writing about a violent subject when the world and history are filled with violence.

Joyce Carol Oates

history
Obviously the imagination is fueled by emotions beyond the control of the conscious mind. - Joyce Carol Oates

Obviously the imagination is fueled by emotions beyond the control of the conscious mind.

Joyce Carol Oates

imagination
In love there are two things - bodies and words. - Joyce Carol Oates

In love there are two things - bodies and words.

Joyce Carol Oates

love
Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost. - Joyce Carol Oates

Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost.

Joyce Carol Oates

religion
I could never take the idea of religion very seriously. - Joyce Carol Oates

I could never take the idea of religion very seriously.

Joyce Carol Oates

religion
Boxing has become America's tragic theater. - Joyce Carol Oates

Boxing has become America's tragic theater.

Joyce Carol Oates

sports
As a teacher at Princeton, I'm surrounded by people who work hard so I just make good use of my time. And I don't really think of it as work - writing a novel, in one sense, is a problem-solving exercise. - Joyce Carol Oates

As a teacher at Princeton, I'm surrounded by people who work hard so I just make good use of my time. And I don't really think of it as work - writing a novel, in one sense, is a problem-solving exercise.

Joyce Carol Oates

teacher