The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: Book summary and reviews of The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates by Joyce Carol Oates

The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates

1973-1982

By Joyce Carol Oates

The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2007,
    528 pages.

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Book Summary

On New Year's Day, 1973, Joyce Carol Oates began keeping a journal that she maintains to this present day. When the journals began, 34–year–old Oates was already a recipient of the National Book Award (1969), with many O. Henry awards, and others, under her literary belt. For all her warm critical reception, however, the author had been (and would remain) fairly reticent about the personal details of her life and background.

Housed in her archive at Syracuse University, the journals run to more than 5,000 single–spaced typewritten pages. This volume focuses on excerpts from that first decade, 1973–1983, one of the most productive of Oates's long career. Far more than a daily account of her writing life, the journals offer a candid discussion of Oates' many friendships with other well–known writers –– Philip Roth, Anne Sexton, John Updike, and many others; she describes her teaching, her relationship to the natural world, her family, her vast reading, her critics, her travels, and other topics central to her life during this time.

What emerges is a fascinating portrait of the artist as a young woman, fully engaged with her world and her culture, a writer who paradoxically fancied herself "invisible" but who was quickly becoming one of the most respected, discussed, and controversial figures in American letters.

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Media Reviews

'Starred Review. [T]his journal immerses the reader in a complex, searching, imaginative personality—an artist who continues to refine her search for literary expression." - PW.

"'Love. Friendship. Art. Work. These are my values,' Oates says. Watching her juggle them in these replete pages is a stimulating experience. " - Kirkus.

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Author Information

Joyce Carol Oates Author Biography

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

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, which was nominated for the National Book Award. 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.

Partial Bibliography
Memoir
A Widow's Story (2011)


Novels
With Shuddering Fall (1964)
Wonderland (1971)
Do with Me What You Will (1973)
Miracle Play (1974)
The ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

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