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Joyce Carol Oates - Author

About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award , is one of the most highly respected novelists, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories. Her most recent novels include ‘Break Heart Blues’ and ‘Man Crazy’. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. Her highly acclaimed last novel ‘Blonde’, published in 2000, was shortlisted for the National Book Award.

 

Author photo © Marion Ettlinger

Featured books by Joyce Carol Oates

Dis Mem Ber

Dis Mem Ber

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/01/2018

Seven unsettling works from one of our greatest literary imaginations. A precocious eleven-year-old, in thrall to the mysterious black sheep of the family, climbs into his sky-blue Chevy to be driven to an uncertain, unforgettable, fate. A university student becomes obsessed with the murder of a female classmate as her own sense of self deteriorates. A recent widow grieves inside her lakefront home and fantasizes about transforming into a great flying predator - unerring and pitiless in the hunt. These meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting stories confront the dangers that surround us, and the dangers that lurk within.

ebook of the month
High Crime Area Tales of Darkness and Dread

High Crime Area Tales of Darkness and Dread

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/12/2014

A collection of darkly compelling tales from the unique imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. A young professor is convinced she's being followed, but when she confronts her shadow events take an unexpected turn...A promising student attempts to save her brother from his descent into madness, but she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers...A renowned author embarks on a grand tour of Europe, but soon his bad manners threaten to cost him more than he has to give...These biting and beautiful stories force us to confront, one by one, the demons within.

Other books by Joyce Carol Oates

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. A Novel

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. A Novel

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/04/2020

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all. Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates's latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author's bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.

Simpsonistas, Vol. 2

Simpsonistas, Vol. 2

Author: Joyce Carol Oates, Laila Lalami, Anthony Marra Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/11/2019

Simpsonistas: Tales from the Simpson Literary Project, Vol. 2 highlights brilliant work by associates of the Simpson Project: Joyce Carol Oates, Anthony Marra, Laila Lalami, Sigrid Nunez, and many others, including Simpson Fellows as well as young writers appearing for the first time in print. Simpsonistas is the inaugural anthology of the Simpson Project, which is committed to the proposition that storytelling is the foundation of a literate society: simpsonliteraryproject.org. The Simpson Literary Project promotes storytellers and storytelling across the generations, and across a tremendous spectrum: from incarcerated young men and women to high school-age students to distinguished mid-career authors to internationally celebrated writers. Simpson Fellows from UC Berkeley lead workshops for fledgling writers, and the annual Simpson Prize Recipient receives an award of $50,000 in support of a burgeoning career. Joyce Carol Oates is the current Simpson Project Writer-in-Residence at the Lafayette (CA) Public Library, where she works with librarians, teachers, college and high school students, and the broader communities.

Hazards of Time Travel

Hazards of Time Travel

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

An ingenious dystopian novel of one young woman's resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society When a recklessly idealistic girl in a dystopian future society dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled world, she is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America - 'Wainscotia, Wisconsin' - that existed eighty years before. Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town, she is set upon a course of 'rehabilitation' - but she falls in love with a fellow exile and starts to question the constraints of her new existence, with results that are both devastating and liberating. Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel is an exquisitely wrought love story, a novel of harrowing discovery - and an oblique but powerful response to our current political climate.

Pursuit

Pursuit

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

As a child, Abby had the same recurring nightmare night after night, in which she wandered through a field ridden with human skulls and bones. Now an adult, Abby thinks she's outgrown her demons, until, the evening before her wedding, the terrible dream returns and forces her to confront the dark secrets from her past she has kept from her new husband, Willem. The following day - less than 24 hours after exchanging vows - Abby steps out into traffic. As his wife lies in her hospital bed, sleeping in fits and starts, Willem tries to determine whether this was an absentminded accident or a premeditated plunge, and he quickly discovers a mysterious set of clues about what his wife might be hiding. Why, for example is there a rash-like red mark circling her wrist? What does she dream about that causes her to wake from the sound of her own screams? Slowly, Abby begins to open up to her husband, revealing to him what she has never shared with anyone before - the story of a terrified mother; a jealous, drug addled father; and a daughter's terrifying captivity. With a suspenseful, alternating narrative that travels between the present and Abby's tortured childhood, Pursuit is a meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting tale that showcases Oates's masterful storytelling.

Pursuit

Pursuit

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

As a child, Abby had the same recurring nightmare night after night, in which she wandered through a field ridden with human skulls and bones. Now an adult, Abby thinks she's outgrown her demons, until, the evening before her wedding, the terrible dream returns and forces her to confront the dark secrets from her past she has kept from her new husband, Willem. The following day - less than 24 hours after exchanging vows - Abby steps out into traffic. As his wife lies in her hospital bed, sleeping in fits and starts, Willem tries to determine whether this was an absentminded accident or a premeditated plunge, and he quickly discovers a mysterious set of clues about what his wife might be hiding. Why, for example is there a rash-like red mark circling her wrist? What does she dream about that causes her to wake from the sound of her own screams? Slowly, Abby begins to open up to her husband, revealing to him what she has never shared with anyone before - the story of a terrified mother; a jealous, drug addled father; and a daughter's terrifying captivity. With a suspenseful, alternating narrative that travels between the present and Abby's tortured childhood, Pursuit is a meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting tale that showcases Oates's masterful storytelling.

Triumph of the Spider Monkey

Triumph of the Spider Monkey

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2019

Unavailable for 40 years, this seminal novel of madness and murder is acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates' powerful trip into the mind of a maniac. Abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, shuttled from one abusive foster home and detention center to another, Bobbie Gotteson grew up angry, hurting, damaged. His hunger to succeed as a musician brought him across the country to Hollywood, but along with it came his seething rage, his paranoid delusions, and his capacity for acts of shocking violence. Unavailable for 40 years, The Triumph of the Spider Monkey is an eloquent, terrifying, heartbreaking exploration of madness by one of the most acclaimed authors of the past century. This definitive edition for the first time pairs the original novel with a never-before-collected companion novella by Joyce Carol Oates, unseen since its sole publication in a literary journal nearly half a century ago, which examines the impact of Gotteson's killing spree on a woman who survived it, as seen through the eyes of the troubled young man hired by a private detective to surveil her...

The New Kitten

The New Kitten

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/2019

From acclaimed author (and cat lover!) Joyce Carol Oates comes a charming, heartwarming picture book. As the only cat in her house, Cherie is accustomed to being showered with treats and affection. So when her family brings home a new kitten named Cleopatra, Cherie resents that she's no longer the center of attention-and she can't believe all the trouble that the kitten gets away with! Is one home big enough for two kitties? Beautifully illustrated by Dave Mottram, this picture book will resonate for any reader who has-eventually!-found the joy in sharing the spotlight with a new family addition.

My Life as a Rat

My Life as a Rat

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/05/2019

A brilliant and thought-provoking novel about family, loyalty and betrayal Once I'd been Daddy's favourite. Before something terrible happened. Violet Rue is the baby of the seven Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What's more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family - to betray the family - is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever. Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality and identity, this is a dark story with a tense and propulsive atmosphere - Joyce Carol Oates at her very best.

Beautiful Days Stories

Beautiful Days Stories

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/04/2019

A new collection of thirteen mesmerizing stories by American master Joyce Carol Oates, including the 2017 Pushcart Prize-winning Undocumented Alien The diverse stories of Beautiful Days, Joyce Carol Oates explore the most secret, intimate, and unacknowledged interior lives of characters not unlike ourselves, who assert their independence in acts of bold and often irrevocable defiance. Fleuve Bleu exemplifies the rich sensuousness of Oates's prose as lovers married to other persons vow to establish, in their intimacy, a ruthlessly honest, truth-telling authenticity missing elsewhere in their complicated lives, with unexpected results. In Big Burnt, set on lushly rendered Lake George, in the Adirondacks, a cunningly manipulative university professor exploits a too-trusting woman in a way she could never have anticipated. In a more experimental but no less intimate mode, Les beaux jours examines the ambiguities of an intensely erotic, exploitative relationship between a master artist and his adoring young female model. And the tragic Undocumented Alien depicts a young African student enrolled in an American university who is suddenly stripped of his student visa and forced to undergo a terrifying test of courage. In these stories, as elsewhere in her fiction, Joyce Carol Oates exhibits her fascination with the social, psychological, and moral boundaries that govern our behavior-until the hour when they do not.

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

A woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, is seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot afford, as her married lover rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. An ageing, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgwood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband's latest conquest? A former Sunday School teacher's corpse turns up and the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder - but is he really responsible? In a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft, a young outsider is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father. Revelling in the uncanny, this taut collection stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing - challenging us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

Simpsonistas, Vol. 1

Simpsonistas, Vol. 1

Author: Joyce Carol Oates, T. Geronimo Johnson, Anthony Marra Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/11/2018

Simpsonistas: Tales from the Simpson Family Literary Project, Vol. 1 highlights brilliant work by associates of the Simpson Project: Joyce Carol Oates, Anthony Marra, T. Geronimo Johnson, Samantha Hunt, Lori Ostlund, Martin Pousson, Ben Fountain, and many others, including Simpson Fellows as well as young writers appearing for the first time in print. Johnson and Marra were Simpson Prize Winners; Fountain, Hunt, Ostlund, and Pousson were Prize Finalists. Simpsonistas is the inaugural anthology of the Simpson Project, which is committed to the proposition that storytelling is the foundation of a literate society: simpsonliteraryproject.org. The Simpson Family Literary Project promotes storytellers and storytelling across the generations, and across a tremendous spectrum: from incarcerated young men and women to high school-age students to distinguished mid-career authors to internationally celebrated writers. Simpson Fellows from UC Berkeley lead workshops for fledgling writers, and the annual Simpson Prize Recipient receives an award of $50,000 in support of a burgeoning career. Joyce Carol Oates is the current Simpson Project Writer-in-Residence at the Lafayette (CA) Public Library, where she works with librarians, teachers, college and high school students, and the broader communities.

Hazards of Time Travel

Hazards of Time Travel

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2018

An ingenious dystopian novel of one young woman's resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society 'Unrelentingly disturbing' Observer 'Taps deep into contemporary anxieties over the rise of surveillance, totalitarian governments and invasive technology' Daily Mail 'Oates is still casting some awfully dark magic' Washington Post When a recklessly idealistic girl in a dystopian future society dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled world, she is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America - 'Wainscotia, Wisconsin' - that existed eighty years before. Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town, she is set upon a course of 'rehabilitation' - but she falls in love with a fellow exile and starts to question the constraints of her new existence, with results that are both devastating and liberating. Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel is an exquisitely wrought love story, a novel of harrowing discovery - and an oblique but powerful response to our current political climate.

Hazards of Time Travel

Hazards of Time Travel

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/11/2018

An ingenious dystopian novel of one young woman's resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society 'Unrelentingly disturbing' Observer 'Taps deep into contemporary anxieties over the rise of surveillance, totalitarian governments and invasive technology' Daily Mail 'Oates is still casting some awfully dark magic' Washington Post When a recklessly idealistic girl in a dystopian future society dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled world, she is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America - 'Wainscotia, Wisconsin' - that existed eighty years before. Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town, she is set upon a course of 'rehabilitation' - but she falls in love with a fellow exile and starts to question the constraints of her new existence, with results that are both devastating and liberating. Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel is an exquisitely wrought love story, a novel of harrowing discovery - and an oblique but powerful response to our current political climate.

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 12/07/2018

A woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, is seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot afford, as her married lover rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. An ageing, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgwood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband's latest conquest? A former Sunday School teacher's corpse turns up and the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder - but is he really responsible? In a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft, a young outsider is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father. Revelling in the uncanny, this taut collection stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing - challenging us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/07/2018

A woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, is seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot afford, as her married lover rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door. An ageing, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgwood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband's latest conquest? A former Sunday School teacher's corpse turns up and the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder - but is he really responsible? In a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft, a young outsider is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father. Revelling in the uncanny, this taut collection stands at the crossroads of sex, violence, and longing - challenging us to interrogate the intersection of these impulses within ourselves.

Foxfire

Foxfire

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 10/07/2018

The time is the 1950s. The place is a blue-collar town in upstate New York, where five high school girls are joined in a gang dedicated to pride, power, and vengeance on a world that seems made to denigrate and destroy them. Foxfire is Joyce Carol Oates's strongest and most unsparing novel yetan always engrossing, often shocking evocation of female rage, gallantry, and grit. Here is the secret history of a sisterhood of blood, a haven from a world of male oppressors, marked by a liberating fury that burns too hot to last. Above all, it is the story of Legs Sadovsky, with her lean, on-the-edge, icy beauty, whose nerve, muscle, hate, and hurt make her the spark of Foxfire, its guiding spirit, its burning core. At once brutal and lyrical, this is a careening joyride of a novelcharged with outlaw energy and lit by intense emotion. Amid scenes of violence and vengeance lies this novel's greatest power: the exquisite, astonishing rendering of the bonds that link the Foxfire girls together. Foxfire reaffirms Joyce Carol Oates's place at the very summit of American writing.