I asked Joyce Carol Oates about her avid French following.
For me, the very sound of French spoken is musical, beautiful, subtly cadenced.
Her involvement with French language began in high school; as an adult she has taught and published French literature. “This is my background for writing, and my relationship with the French reading public may be related to it.” She also praises her translators.
I'm a Reference Librarian at the University of San Francisco's Gleeson Library, and I run the Joyce Carol Oates web site, Celestial Timepiece.