Thursday, April 23, 2009

Joyce Carol Oates

From Joyce Carol Oates' Q & A with Deborah Solomon in the New York Times Magazine:

One of the most chilling stories in your new collection, “Special,” appears to draw on your own experiences as the older sister of a severely autistic woman.

When I look at photographs of Lynne, she looks a bit like me. It’s really ironic that I have a sister who’s never uttered one word and of course can’t read, and I’ve written all these books.

Perhaps you had a phobic reaction to her and felt you had to go to the other exaggeratedly productive extreme.

I think it’s actually completely unrelated. I was writing novels in high school and apprenticed myself in a way both to Faulkner and to Hemingway. I was a dedicated writer before she was born.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue