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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

Soul at the White Heat Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life

Soul at the White Heat Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2017

A new collection of critical and personal essays on writing, obsession, and inspiration from National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, now in paperback. Why do we write? With this question, Joyce Carol Oates begins an imaginative exploration of the writing life, and all its attendant anxieties, joys, and futilities, in this collection of seminal essays and criticism. Leading her quest is a desire to understand the source of the writer's inspiration-do subjects haunt those that might bring them back to life until the writer submits? Or does something happen to us, a sudden ignition of a burning flame? Can the appearance of a muse-like Other bring about a writer's best work? In Soul at the White Heat, Oates deploys her keenest critical faculties, conjuring contemporary and past voices whose work she deftly and creatively dissects for clues to these elusive questions. Virginia Woolf, John Updike, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, J. M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, and many others appear as predecessors and peers-material through which Oates sifts in acting as literary detective, philosopher, and student. The book is at its most thrilling when watching the writer herself at work, and Oates provides rare insight into her own process, in candid, self-aware dispatches from the author's own writing room. Longtime admirers of Joyce Carol Oates' novels as well as her prose will discover much to be inspired by and obsess upon themselves in this inventive collection from an American master. As the New York Times has said of her essays, Oates's writing has always seemed effortless: urgent, unafraid, torrential. She writes like a woman who walks into rough country and doesn't look back.

A Book of American Martyrs

A Book of American Martyrs

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

`The story of Trump's America' Daily Mail Two families. Two faces of America. One violent crime that will bitterly divide them - and yet bind them together forever. `A magnificent story of two broken families' Independent `Page-turning, gripping, full of unexpected twists' Observer `From its dramatic opening, with the killing of an abortionist, the book rockets forwards ... Ingenious, agile, dazzling' Literary Review `Morally meaty and always readable' Sunday Times `A masterpiece' Washington Post

Dis Mem Ber

Dis Mem Ber

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2017

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.

DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense

DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 06/06/2017

Including "e;The Crawl Space,"e; winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction and a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Short StoryJoyce Carol Oates is renowned for her rare ability to illuminate the minds most disturbing corners (Seattle Times). That genius is on full display in her new collection of seven feverishly unsettling works, DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense.In the title story, a precocious eleven-year-old named Jill is in thrall to an older male relative, the mysterious, attractive black sheep of the family. Without telling her parents Jill climbs into his sky-blue Chevy to be driven to an uncertain, and unforgettable, fate. In The Drowned Girl, a university transfer student becomes increasingly obsessed with the drowning/murder of another female student, as her own sense of self begins to deteriorate. In Great Blue Heron, a recent widow grieves inside the confines of her lakefront home and fantasizes about transforming into that great flying predatorunerring and pitiless in the hunt. And in the final story, Welcome to Friendly Skies, a trusting group of bird-watchers is borne to a remote part of the globe, to a harrowing fate.At the heart of this meticulously crafted, deeply disquieting collection are girls and women confronting the danger around them, and the danger hidden inside their turbulent selves.

Dis Mem Ber

Dis Mem Ber

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 06/06/2017

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.

Book of American Martyrs

Book of American Martyrs

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 01/06/2017

Two families. Two faces of America. An act of violence with far-reaching consequences.Gus Voorhees is a pioneer in the advancement of women's reproductive rights and a controversial abortion provider in the American Midwest. One morning as he arrives at his clinic, he is ambushed by a hardline Christian, Luther Dunphy, and shot dead.The killing leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Voorheeses, who are affluent, highly educated, secular and pro-choice, and the Dunphys, their opposite on all counts.When the daughters of the two families, Naomi Voorhees and Dawn Dunphy, glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together forever by what has happened, and throughout the years to come and the events that follow, neither can quite forget the other.A heart-rending reckoning with some of the most incendiary issues that divide us in our troubled times - religious extremism; abortion; gun violence; capital punishment - this is a novel Joyce Carol Oates was born to write. To read it is to encounter the full spectrum of humanity - its ugliness, misery, beauty and hope.

A Book of American Martyrs

A Book of American Martyrs

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/05/2017

Two families. Two faces of America. An act of violence with far-reaching consequences. Gus Voorhees is a pioneer in the advancement of women's reproductive rights and a controversial abortion provider in the American Midwest. One morning as he arrives at his clinic, he is ambushed by a hardline Christian, Luther Dunphy, and shot dead. The killing leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Voorheeses, who are affluent, highly educated, secular and pro-choice, and the Dunphys, their opposite on all counts. When the daughters of the two families, Naomi Voorhees and Dawn Dunphy, glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together forever by what has happened, and throughout the years to come and the events that follow, neither can quite forget the other... `The story of Trump's America' Daily Mail `Page-turning, gripping, full of unexpected twists' Observer `The most relevant book of Oates's half-century-long career . . . a masterpiece' Washington Post

Dis Mem Ber

Dis Mem Ber

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/05/2017

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.

Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon

Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

A female serial killer reconnects with her twin sister in this novel by an acclaimed National Book Award winner and ';first-rate thriller writer' (The New York Times Book Review). Demure Lily Merrick is a dutiful housewife and mother who teaches pottery classes in upstate New York. Then, out of the blue, her estranged sister, Sharon, shows up after fifteen years, seeking refuge from her life as a Las Vegas stripper. At first Lily is overwhelmed and overjoyed. Her daughter and husband welcome Sharon with open arms, eager to help the seemingly troubled young woman get a fresh start. But that's not really what Sharon wants. Under the alias Starr Bright, Aunt Sharon is the most wanted female serial killer in the country. Driven by a need for love and security, she has sought out sex and degradationleaving behind a bloody trail of carved-up men in cheap motel rooms from coast to coast. Now, she's insinuating herself into the lives of those who trust and love her. She's come home to family, and not just to hide. For her entire life, Sharon has been nursing a poisonous vengeance that has yet to claim its last victim. And very, very soon, Starr Bright will strike again. This smart, chilling novel from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of We Were the Mulvaneys and Black Water is ';a real page-turner' (Library Journal). ';Recall that ';Rosamond Smith' is the nom de plume of Joyce Carol Oates when writing her psychological suspense novels a la Ruth Rendell. Oates-as-Smith has had great practice in limning the type of personality that results from sexual guilt and craving love, and she explores it anew' in Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon (Booklist).

Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

A New Jersey family takes an ex-con into their suburban home in this ';chilling, nightmarish' novel by a #1 New York Timesbestselling author (San Francisco Chronicle). Attorney Michael O'Meara's dogged belief that Lee Roy Sears was innocent of murder has paid off. The lawyer has not only gotten the convicted inmate released from death row at Connecticut State Prison, but also procured an artist's residency in Mount Orion, New Jersey, for the rehabilitated Vietnam vet upon his parole. Sears is adapting nicely. He's selling his sculptures. He's eating well. He has ingratiated himself into Michael's home; is eternally grateful for Michael's benevolent motives, however mysterious their origin; and is thriving on the town's liberal patronage and attentionespecially that of Michael's adulterous wife, Gina. But as Michael's picture-perfect family begins to show signs of cracking, his suspicions about Sears become violent obsessions. Now, the dreams and secrets of two men are about to collide in a nightmare. And before long, the lines between guilt and innocence, lies and truth, trust and betrayal are bound to go up in flames. Snake Eyes is in an astute and suspenseful story by the National Book Awardwinning author of them, We Were the Mulvaneys, The Gravedigger's Daughter, and many other acclaimed novels.

Double Delight

Double Delight

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

An upstanding juror becomes dangerously obsessed with a seductive plaintiff in this ';fast-paced, haunting' novel by a #1 New York Timesbestselling author (Boston Sunday Herald). Terence Greene is admired for his perfect life in an affluent New Jersey suburb, and for his marriage to a minister's beautiful and wealthy daughter. He's also envied for his successful career as director of an arts foundation. But all of that changes when Terence is summoned to jury duty in Trenton. Ava-Rose Renfrew, the alleged victim in an assault case, is a sexy, irresistibly raw, and low-rent woman who lives on the shadowy banks of the Delaware River with a strange clan she calls family. And she's very eager to show Terence her appreciation for his loyalty in the jury box. Before long, their quick and dirty affair becomes an obsession, and getting hooked on a drug as potent and violent as Ava-Rose soon turns Terence's respectable life to dust. He's willing to do anything for her: lie, embezzle, stealand worse. For Terence, losing control is half the fun. But trying to get it back is terrifying. The recipient of honors ranging from the National Book Award to the Bram Stoker Award, Joyce Carol Oates has explored obsession and sexual terrors in such acclaimed novels as Zombie, Daddy Love, and Jack of Spades. In Double Delight, writing as Rosamond Smith, she proves herself an abandoned and fearless talent in psychological suspense.

Nemesis

Nemesis

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

This ';mesmerizing' novel about a crime at an elite music school ';calls to mind a David Lynch film' (The New York Times). Shy piano teacher Maggie Blackburn has selflessly devoted her life and career to her students at the Forest Park Conservatory of Music in an affluent Connecticut suburb. Then a rape shakes the school's refined grounds. The violated young student, Brendan Bauer, is a timid ex-seminarian. The perpetrator, Rolfe Christensen, is the newly appointed and celebrated composer-in-residence who has dazzled the faculty in ways Maggie could never have dreamed of. But when the conservatory's conspiracy to conceal the crime results in Christensen's murder, Bauer is suspectedand Maggie vows to find the real killer. What Maggie soon discovers is that Christensen's reputationas genius, manipulator, and sexual predatorhad preceded him, giving many people a reason to want him dead. But when the murder of another colleague casts additional doubt on Bauer's innocence, Maggie's labyrinthine hunt for a killer turns into more than an investigation. Now it's a liberating obsession with secretshers includedas dark and twisted as the crimes themselves. One of today's most prolific and acclaimed literary talents, Joyce Carol Oates is a National Book Award winner, a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a #1 New York Timesbestselling author. As Elmore Leonard said, with her psychological suspense novels written under the name Rosamond Smith, ';[she] could become the world's Number One mystery writer easily.'

Soul/Mate

Soul/Mate

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

A lonely widow is romanced by a ';brilliantly portrayed' pathological killer in this novel by the National Book Awardwinning author of them (The New York Times). Dorothea Deverell is a New England art historian working for a Boston museum, resigned to entering middle age aloneuntil she's swept off her feet by the flattery of a charming younger man who calls her his soul mate. Colin Asch is swept away too. He admires Dorothea's gentle nature, innate goodness, decency, and acceptance of others without judgment. She's nothing at all like the people Colin has met beforeand murdered. A self-appointed ';Angel of Death,' Colin is determined to keep Dorothea happyby eliminating anyone who gets in the way of his plan. They'll be clever kills, untraceable and fast as a knife-slash to the throat. Each one will bring him closer to the woman he loves. And by the time Dorothea discovers what horrors passion has wrought, she'll be in so deep, so dark, that giving in might be her only chance of survival. This novel, called ';a hair-raiser' by Elmore Leonard, comes from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of We Were the Mulvaneys, a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and recipient of the O. Henry Award, the National Book Award, and the Bram Stoker Award. In Soul/Mate, ';it is clear from the start that we are in Joyce Carol Oates territory, for the book is stamped with her hallmarksher complex, detailed prose; her fascination with violence; her obsessive concern with rendering not so much action as the way action haunts the hidden consciousness of her characters' (The New York Times).

You Can't Catch Me

You Can't Catch Me

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2017

A ';sinister, edgy, delectably creepy' story of mistaken identity, murder, and madness from a #1 New York Timesbestselling author (San Francisco Chronicle). Tristram Heade is a reclusive, repressed Virginia bachelor and antiquarian book collector who has traveled to Philadelphia to keep an appointment with a fellow dealer. But when he arrives, his life takes an unexpected and dizzying turn. A train porter returns his lost wallet, but the identification inside belongs to a man named Angus Markham, a gambler and real estate prospector. When Tristram returns to his hotel, he's greeted by staff as Markham, and in his room, he finds Markham's suitcase and clothesas well as Fleur Grunwald, a woman who certainly knows her lover, Markham, when she sees him. And she seems to desperately need his help. At first baffled, then intrigued, Tristram decides to play alongonly to discover that he's not in control of the game. Especially when he takes on Fleur and her sadistic husband and finds himself lost in a conspiracy of madness and murder. If only Tristram could be certain whether he's to be the killeror the victim. From a winner of countless awards, the author of such bestsellers as We Were the Mulvaneys and Black Water, You Can't Catch Me is ';a tense psychological suspense novel filled with dual identities, double crosses, and duplicity. It is also filled with philosophical and literary allusions suggesting that this is less about the mystery of Markham than about the fragile mystery of identity. It's just what one would expect from the celebrated Joyce Carol Oates, who uses the pseudonym ';Rosamond Smith' for her psychological thrillers' (Library Journal).

A Book of American Martyrs

A Book of American Martyrs

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2017

Two families. Two faces of America. An act of violence with far-reaching consequences. Gus Voorhees is a pioneer in the advancement of women's reproductive rights and a controversial abortion provider in the American Midwest. One morning as he arrives at his clinic, he is ambushed by a hardline Christian, Luther Dunphy, and shot dead. The killing leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Voorheeses, who are affluent, highly educated, secular and pro-choice, and the Dunphys, their opposite on all counts. When the daughters of the two families, Naomi Voorhees and Dawn Dunphy, glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together forever by what has happened, and throughout the years to come and the events that follow, neither can quite forget the other. A heart-rending reckoning with some of the most incendiary issues that divide us in our troubled times - religious extremism; abortion; gun violence; capital punishment - this is a novel Joyce Carol Oates was born to write. To read it is to encounter the full spectrum of humanity - its ugliness, misery, beauty and hope.

The Man Without a Shadow

The Man Without a Shadow

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/01/2017

From bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, a taut and fascinating novel that examines the mysteries of human memory and personality In 1965, a young research scientist named Margot Sharpe meets Elihu Hoopes, the subject of her study, a handsome amnesiac who cannot remember anything beyond the last seventy seconds. Over the course of thirty years, the two embark on mirroring journeys of self-discovery. Margot, enthralled by her charming, mysterious, and deeply lonely patient, as well as her officious supervisor, attempts to unlock Eli's shuttered memories of a childhood trauma without losing her own sense of identity in the process. And Eli, haunted by memories of an unknown girl's body underneath the surface of a lake, pushes to finally know himself once again, despite potentially devastating consequences. As Margot and Eli meet over and over again, Joyce Carol Oates' tightly written, nearly clinical prose propels the lives of these two characters forwards, both suspended in a dream-like, shadowy present, and seemingly balanced on the thinnest, sharpest of lines between past and future. Made vivid by Oates' eye for detail and searing insight into the human psyche, The Man Without a Shadow is an eerie, ambitious, and structurally complex novel, as poignant as it is thrilling.