Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates, 1938–, American author, b. Lockport, N.Y., grad. B.A., Syracuse Univ., 1960, M.A., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1961. She taught English at the Univ. of Detroit and the Univ. of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and has been affiliated with Princeton since 1978. Oates writes about contemporary American life, which she sees as often defined by violence. She is particularly concerned with the connection between violence and love. Her characters are mainly ordinary, inarticulate people who sublimate the terrible things that happen to them. Although some of her novels have been labeled gothic, the violence in them is neither mysterious nor necessarily dramatic; it occurs randomly as in everyday life.

Extraordinarily prolific, Oates has published some 140 books in a variety of genres, among them dozens of novels. These include With Shuddering Fall (1964); a trilogy: A Garden of Earthly Delights (1967, rev. ed. 2003), Expensive People (1968), and them (1969); Wonderland (1971); Childwold (1976); Cybele (1979); Bellefleur (1980); Solstice (1985); Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart (1990); What I Lived For (1994); My Heart Laid Bare (1998); Blonde (2000), a fictional work based on the life of Marilyn Monroe; Mudwoman (2012); and a Gothic mystery, The Accursed (2013). Oates's numerous short stories are collected in such volumes as Wheel of Love (1970), A Sentimental Education (1981), Heat (1991), Will You Always Love Me? (1996), Faithless (2001), Wild Nights! (2008), and The Accursed (2013). Oates also has written thrillers under the name Rosamond Smith, plus poems, plays, children's fiction, essays, literary criticism, and a book on boxing (1988). After the sudden death of her husband in 2008, she wrote A Widow's Story (2011), a chronicle of grief and mourning.

See G. Johnson, ed., The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973–1982 (2007); L. Milazzo, ed., Conversations with Joyce Carol Oates (1989); biography by G. Johnson (1998); studies by L. W. Wagner, ed. (1979), E. G. Friedman (1980), T. Norman (1984), H. Bloom, ed. (1987), J. V. Creighton (1992), M. C. Wesley (1993), G. Johnson (1987 and 1994), B. Daly (1996), and G. Cologne-Brookes (2005).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Snapshots: 20th Century Mother-Daughter Fiction
Joyce Carol Oates; Janet Berliner.
David R. Godine, 2000
Gender and Literary Voice
Janet Todd.
Holmes & Meier, 1980
Librarian’s tip: "Is There a Female Voice? Joyce Carol Oates Replies" begins on p. 10
Broken Silences: Interviews with Black and White Women Writers
Shirley M. Jordan.
Rutgers University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Joyce Carol Oates" begins on p. 150
Faith of a (Woman) Writer
Alice Kessler-Harris; William McBrien.
Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Joyce Carol Oates's The Dead and Feminist Criticism"
Postwar Academic Fiction: Satire, Ethics, Community
Kenneth Womack.
Palgrave, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Searching for Goodness and the Ethical Self: Joyce Carol Oates's The Hungry Ghosts"
Postgothic Fiction: Joyce Carol Oates Turns the Screw on Henry James
Hoeveler, Diane Long.
Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 35, No. 4, Fall 1998
Sexual Politics in Two Collections of Joyce Carol Oates's Short Fiction
Daly, Brenda.
Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 32, No. 1, Winter 1995
Reverence, Rape, Resistance: Joyce Carol Oates and Feminist Film Theory
Wesley, Marilyn C.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 32, No. 3, September 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gothic Writers: A Critical and Bibliographical Guide
Douglass H. Thomson; Jack G. Voller; Frederick S. Frank.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Joyce Carol Oates" begins on p. 303
Paging New Jersey: A Literary Guide to the Garden State
James F. Broderick.
Rutgers University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Joyce Carol Oates" begins on p. 76
Between Two Worlds: The American Novel in the 1960's
Sanford Pinsker.
Whitston, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Isaac Bashevis Singer and Joyce Carol Oates: Some Versions of Gothic"
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