Saturday, January 30, 2010

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her recent novels include Little Bird of Heaven, Dear Husband, and A Fair Maiden.

From her Q & A with Anna Metcalfe for the Financial Times:

What book changed your life?

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. I was eight.

* * *
Who would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party?

Charlotte Brontë. Or – though she wouldn’t speak to me – Emily Dickinson.

* * *
What are you most proud of writing?

My novel Blonde about the American girl Norma Jeane Baker who is made into “Marilyn Monroe”.
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn about the two dates when Oates says she was the happiest.

--Marshal Zeringue