Joyce Carol Oates Biography

Joyce Carol Oates is an acclaimed, award-winning American novelist, short story writer and poet. This biography offers detailed information about her childhood, life, works, career, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: June 16, 1938

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Joyce Carol Oates Atheists

Sun Sign: Gemini

Age: 80 Years

Born in: Lockport, New York, U.S.

Famous as: Writer

Height: 1.73 m

Spouse/Ex-: Charles Gross, Raymond J. Smith

father: Frederic James Oates

mother: Carolina (née Bush),

siblings: Fred Jr., Lynn Ann

More Facts

education:

awards: 1967 - O. Henry Award
1973 - O. Henry Award
1970 - National Book Award

2010 - National Humanities Medal
2012 - Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement

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The New York Times bestselling author, Joyce Carol Oates is an acclaimed author of several literary genres. She is widely regarded as a contemporary and versatile writer, who has authored more than forty novels, numerous dramas, short stories, works of poetry and non-fiction. She has also served as an editor and a literary critic. She has won several awards and anecdotes for her writing including, the National Book Award, O. Henry Award, National Humanities Medal and the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, among many other laurels. Some of her works have also earned her the Pulitzer Prize nomination. A Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, Joyce Carol Oates previously taught at the University of Detroit and the University of Windsor. She has often written about her humble working–class upbringing in her fiction, expressing nostalgia about her growing days in the countryside outside of Lockport, New York, where she attended a 'one-room' school. Interestingly, she started writing stories since she was fourteen year old with a typewriter her grandmother had gifted her.

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Joyce Carol Oates
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born in Lockport, New York, as the first child of Frederic James Oates, a tool and die designer and Carolina, a homemaker, Joyce Carol Oates was raised a Catholic.
  • She was brought up in a modest working-class community farm in Millersport, New York. She developed a close bond with her paternal grandmother, Blanche Woodside.
  • She was educated in a rural ‘one-room-school’ and loved to read. She started writing at the age of 14 with her typewriter, which was a gift from her grandmother
  • She was later sent to a school in the suburbs and in 1956, she graduated from the Williamsville South High School. In school, she wrote for their newspaper and became the first in her family to finish high school.
  • She attended the Syracuse University on scholarship, where she won a short story contest. She graduated in 1960 with an English degree. The next year, she graduated from University of Wisconsin–Madison with an M.A.
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Career
  • She took up a teaching job in Texas and in 1962, she started teaching at the University of Detroit. The following year, she came out with her first book, ‘By the North Gate', which was a collection of short stories.
  • In 1964, at the age of 26, her first novel, ‘With Shuddering Fall ' was published. The plot revolved around the lives of two women, ‘Shar’ and ‘Karen’ and chronicled their unsuccessful love lives.
  • In 1966, her short story, ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been' was published in the 'Epoch Magazine'. The same year, she came out with her book of short stories, ‘Upon the Sweeping Flood And Other Stories'.
  • In 1967, her award winning novel, ‘A Garden of Earthly Delights' was published. The following year, she published the book, ‘Women In Love and Other Poems' and the novel, 'Expensive People'.
  • In 1969, one of her most acclaimed and award winning novels, ‘Them’ was published. The next year, her book of short stories, ‘The Wheel of Love and Other Stories' was published.
  • In the 1970s, she came out with the novels, ‘Wonderland', 'Do With Me What You Will', 'The Assassins', 'Childwold', 'Cybele' and the short story collections, 'Marriages and Infidelities' and 'Crossing the Border'.
  • In 1980, she published her magic realist novel titled, ‘Bellefleur' and the drama, ‘Three Plays'. Over the years, she came out with the novels, 'Angel of Light', 'A Bloodsmoor Romance' and 'Mysteries of Winterthurn'.
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  • In 1987, she published her novel ‘You Must Remember This' and her other work titled ‘On Boxing’. The following year, she came out with a short story collection, 'The Assignation'.
  • Her 1989 novel 'American Appetites' was centered on the life of a couple in New York. The same year, she also published her poetry book titled, 'The Time Traveler'.
  • In 1990, she authored the work of drama, 'Tone Clusters' and the novel, 'Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart'. The same year, her novella 'I Lock My Door Upon Myself' was published.
  • In 1992, her acclaimed novella ‘Black Water’ was published. The following year, her novel about two teenage girls in New York titled, ‘Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang' was published.
  • In 1994, her Pulitzer Prize nominated novel, 'What I Lived For' was published. The following year, she came out with the novel, 'Zombie' and the drama, ‘The Perfectionist and Other Plays’.
  • In the 1990s, she published the novels, ‘First Love: A Gothic Tale', 'We Were the Mulvaneys', 'Man Crazy', 'My Heart Laid Bare ' and 'Broke Heart Blues'. She also authored the short story collection, 'The Collector of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque'.
  • Her historical novel, ‘Blonde', published in 2000, became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This was a fictional version of the life of actress Marilyn Monroe. The next year, her bestselling novel, ‘Middle Age: A Romance' was published.
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  • In the early 2000s, she authored a series of young adult novels. They include, 'Big Mouth & Ugly Girl', 'Small Avalanches and Other Stories', 'Freaky Green Eyes' and 'Sexy'.
  • In 2002, she came out with novel, ‘I'll Take You There’. In the following years, she published the novels, ‘The Tattooed Girl', 'Black Girl / White Girl', 'The Gravedigger's Daughter', ' My Sister, My Love' and 'Little Bird of Heaven’.
  • In 2004, she came out with her collection of short stories titled, ‘I Am No One You Know: Stories'. The following year, her novel, ‘The Corn Maiden: A Love Story' was published.
  • In 2006, her book of short stories, ‘High Lonesome: New & Selected Stories, 1966–2006' was published. The same year, her young adult novel, ‘After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away' was published.
  • In 2007, her short story collection. ‘The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense' was published. The following year she also came out with the book, ‘Wild Nights!'.
  • In 2009, her book of short stories, ‘Dear Husband ' was published. The following year, she came out with the novel 'A Fair Maiden' and the short story book, 'Sourland: Stories'.
  • In 2011, her book of novellas and short stories, ‘The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares' was published. The following year, she published her novel, ‘Mudwoman'.
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  • In 2012, her young adult novel 'Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You ' was published. The same year her short story collection, 'Black Dahlia & White Rose' was published.
  • In 2013, she came out with the novels, 'Carthage', ' Daddy Love' and 'The Accursed'.
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Major Works
  • Her book, ‘Blonde’ was listed as one of her best books by ‘Rocky Mountain News’ and ‘Entertainment Weekly’. In 2001, the novel was adapted into a CBS miniseries of the same name.
  • Her award-winning book, ‘Black Water’ was listed as one of her best books by ‘Rocky Mountain News’, ‘Entertainment Weekly’ and 'The Times'. The book also gained good reviews from ' The New York Times'.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In 1967, she received the O. Henry Award for ‘In the Region of Ice'.
  • In 1968, she was awarded the M. L. Rosenthal Award for 'A Garden of Earthly Delights'.
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  • In 1970, she was the recipient of theNational Book Award for Fiction for'them'.
  • In 1973, she was conferred the O. Henry Award 'The Dead'.
  • In 1996, she was bestowed upon the PEN/Malamud Award for 'Excellence in the Art of the Short Story'.
  • In 2010, she was conferred the National Humanities Medal.
  • In 2012, she received the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, conferred by the Oregon State University.
  • In 2013, she received the Bram Stoker Award for the category 'Best Fiction Collection' for 'Black Dahlia and White Rose: Stories'.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 1961, she married Raymond Smith, whom she met at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. They opened the publishing house, Ontario Review Books. He died of pneumonia in 2008.
  • In 2009, she married Charles Gross, a Professor at Princeton’s Psychology Department and Neuroscience Institute.
  • She serves as a member of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which awards Guggenheim Fellowships for writing.
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Trivia
  • This acclaimed award-winning American female novelist, short story writer and poet is also a regular contributor to the infamous ‘Playboy’ magazine.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Joyce Carol Oates Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/joyce-carol-oates-2019.php
Last Updated
- October 23, 2017

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