Tag Archives: Joyce Carol Oates

A to Z challenge: Joyce Carol Oates

I mentioned Joyce Carol Oates in my previous post on Anaïs Nin, as a contemporary competitor for the most prolific female writer. Oddly enough, I haven’t read much of Oates’ work, though she’s been nominated for a Pulitzer.

In light of yesterday’s “no Pulitzer for novels this year” shocker, perhaps this is a good place to start. I mean, how do you just not give a Pulitzer? I jokingly commented on Twitter that the ninjas had escaped from my novel and slaughtered the Pulitzer committee this year, which is why nobody won. But seriously: David Foster Wallace was nominated and didn’t win? What a posthumous kick in the ass. I wonder if he would’ve won if he’d stuck around long enough to actually finish the book for which he was nominated?

But back to the letter O and my Awesome Lady Authors, it’s funny I haven’t read more Joyce Carol Oates, since she’s written about plenty of topics I’d be interested in reading about. I recall enjoying her book Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, and I’ll admit to borrowing a page from Oates book when titling one of my short stories, “Because It Is A Motherfucker, and Because It Is My Heart.” So she’s on my radar, but I haven’t yet plumbed the depths of into her extensive catalogue.

Is it because it’s so massive that I find it daunting? One of my writer friends loves Oates, so I will have to ask her for some favorite titles.

Is Oates an “academic” writer or a popular one? She teaches writing at Princeton, so she’s clearly an academic, but many of her books seem to be inspired by stories from headline news and pop culture. Her most famous short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” can be found online if you’re interested in reading one of her earlier works. I think I’ll give it a whirl this afternoon, once I finish my work for the day.

Have you ever read any of Joyce Carol Oates’ books? Who’s your favorite O writer?

P.S. If you’re hankering for more A to Z Challenge madness, don’t forget to check out my “Ninja Weapons from A to Z” post at rebelsofthe512.com!