Joyce Carol Oates, Interview

I'm deeply grateful to Mark Athatakis' American Fiction Notes for this link to an interview with Joyce Carol Oates.

Joyce Carol Oates occupies a unique place in my literary affections because I don't care all that much for most of her work.  I find her novels mostly unreadable (not because they are, necessarily, but because they fail to engage me), I find her short stories fascinating in a mostly morbid way.  Nevertheless, I profoundly admire the speed and continuity of her output (reminding one of those afflicted by temporal lobe epilepsy) and the power and depth of her writing.  I am eeriely compelled to at least attempt all of her work, and I relish the style, language, and control she exercises over her material. 

But perhaps most of all, I find Ms. Oates to be an interesting and engaging person.  I was privileged to attend a writer's conference at which she was a speaker, and I have to this day cherished the memory of her keynote speech and the opportunity to exchange a few words with her.  Ms. Oates is just a very, very interesting, and very classy person.  This interview, to my mind, shows it once again.

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