The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates Summary and Reviews

The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates

1973-1982

by Joyce Carol Oates

The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates by Joyce Carol Oates X
The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates by Joyce Carol Oates
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  • Published Oct 2007
    528 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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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.

This information about The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Joyce Carol Oates Author Biography

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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the 2019 Jerusalem Prize for Lifetime Achievement, and has been nominated several times for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde; and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. In 2020 she was awarded the Cino Del Duca World Prize for Literature. She is the Roger S. Berlind '52 Distinguished Professor of the Humanities emerita at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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