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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

The (Other) You

The (Other) You

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/03/2021

A powerful reckoning over the people we might have been if we'd chosen a different path, from a master of the short story In this stirring, reflective collection of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates ponders alternate destinies: the other lives we might have led if we'd made different choices. An accomplished writer returns to her childhood home of Yewville, but the homecoming stirs troubled thoughts about the person she might have been if she'd never left. A man in prison contemplates the gravity of his irreversible act. A student's affair with a professor results in a pregnancy that alters the course of her life forever. Even the experience of reading is investigated as one that can create a profound transformation: You could enter another time, the time of the book. The (Other) You is an arresting and incisive vision into these alternative realities, a collection that ponders the constraints we all face given the circumstances of our birth and our temperaments, and that examines the competing pressures and expectations on women in particular. Finely attuned to the nuances of our social and psychic selves, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates here why she remains one of our most celebrated and relevant literary figures.

Cardiff, by the Sea

Cardiff, by the Sea

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2021

From one of the most important contemporary American writers, Cardiff, by the Sea is a bold, haunting collection of four never-before-seen novellas. In the titular novella, a Pennsylvania academic discovers a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from someone she has never heard of. In 'Miao Dao', a pubescent girl overcome with loneliness befriends a feral cat that becomes her protector from the increasingly aggressive males that surround her. A brilliant but shy college sophomore realizes she is pregnant and, distraught, allows a distinguished visiting professor to take her under his wing in 'Phantomwise: 1972'. And in 'The Surviving Child', a widower remarries, but his young wife is haunted by his dead wife's voice dancing in the wind. In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful pieces, Joyce Carol Oates writes about women facing threats past and present, and reminds us why she is so often praised as one of America's most significant contemporary writers.

Cardiff, by the Sea

Cardiff, by the Sea

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2021

From one of the most important contemporary American writers, Cardiff, by the Sea is a bold, haunting collection of four never-before-seen novellas. In the titular novella, a Pennsylvania academic discovers a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from someone she has never heard of. In 'Miao Dao', a pubescent girl overcome with loneliness befriends a feral cat that becomes her protector from the increasingly aggressive males that surround her. A brilliant but shy college sophomore realizes she is pregnant and, distraught, allows a distinguished visiting professor to take her under his wing in 'Phantomwise: 1972'. And in 'The Surviving Child', a widower remarries, but his young wife is haunted by his dead wife's voice dancing in the wind. In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful pieces, Joyce Carol Oates writes about women facing threats past and present, and reminds us why she is so often praised as one of America's most significant contemporary writers.

A Fair Maiden

A Fair Maiden

Author: Joyce Carol Oates, Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2020

Fifteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the streets of Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, when she is approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless. The world he inhabits acts as a tonic to her drab existence. And as a children's book writer, he seems to be a man she can trust. His home is beautiful and he lavishes gifts on her. Everything about him is enticing - perhaps too enticing? Like a moth to the light Katya agrees to pose for a painting. But by degrees something changes. Being Mr Kidder's muse is not the easy endeavour it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it? This spare, chilling novel shows Joyce Carol Oates at the height of her powers as a literary storyteller.

Pursuit

Pursuit

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

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.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/06/2020

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.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/06/2020

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.

My Life as a Rat

My Life as a Rat

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/05/2020

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.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

My Life as a Rat

My Life as a Rat

Author: Joyce Carol Oates Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/05/2019

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.

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.