Joyce Carol Oates has “the creative vitality of the great 19th Century writers of fiction; … whose gothic plots are metaphors for states of psychic tension and tell us something essential about the American experience”

“Some find it difficult to believe that anyone so productive could be so good.”

—Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, welcoming JCO as a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1978


“Joyce Carol Oates, born in 1938, was perhaps born a hundred years too late; she needs a lustier audience, a race of Victorian word-eaters, to be worthy of her astounding productivity.”

“She has, I fear, rather overwhelmed the puny, mean-minded critical establishment of this country. Single-mindedness and efficiency rather than haste underlie her prolificacy; if the phrase ‘woman of letters’ existed, she would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it.”

—John UpdikeOdd Jobs: Essays and Criticism


“A future archeologist equipped only with her oeuvre could easily piece together the whole of postwar America.”

“Joyce Carol Oates has … become one of the elemental forces of American fiction, a daemon from the lower depths. And yet to the museum keepers of national culture, her skill at resisting critical containment must be unnerving. She picks up and discards generic forms at will: re-creating versions of familiar ones (the political thriller, the courtroom drama), and inventing new ones (her brilliant postmodern Gothic romances, for instance). She refuses to restrict herself to one subject, to one stratum of society, one personality type. Indeed, her very productivity stands as a reproach. Over [forty] years ago, Oates confessed to the ambition of putting the whole world in her fiction—an ambition she termed ‘laughably Balzacian.’ It may have seemed so to her. But no one is laughing now.”

—Henry Louis Gates Jr.The Nation


See also: The Glass Ark: A Joyce Carol Oates Bibliography


Novels

Short Story Collections

NonFiction

With Shuddering Fall / 1964 By the North Gate / 1963 The Edge of Impossibility: Tragic Forms in Literature / 1972
A Garden of Earthly Delights / 1967 Upon the Sweeping Flood And Other Stories / 1966 The Hostile Sun: The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence / 1973
Expensive People / 1968 The Wheel of Love And Other Stories / 1970 New Heaven, New Earth: the Visionary Experience in Literature / 1974
them / 1969 Marriages and Infidelities: Short Stories / 1972 Contraries: Essays / 1981
Wonderland / 1971 The Hungry Ghosts: Seven Allusive Comedies / 1974 The Profane Art: Essays & Reviews / 1983
Do With Me What You Will / 1973 The Goddess and Other Women / 1974 On Boxing / 1987
The Assassins: A Book of Hours / 1975 Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Stories of Young America / 1974 (Woman) Writer: Occasions and Opportunities / 1988
Childwold / 1976 The Seduction & Other Stories / 1975 George Bellows: American Artist / 1995
Son of the Morning / 1978 The Poisoned Kiss And Other Stories from the Portuguese / 1975 Where I’ve Been, And Where I’m Going: Essays, Reviews, and Prose / 1999
Cybele / 1979 Crossing the Border: Fifteen Tales / 1976 The Faith of A Writer: Life, Craft, Art / 2003
Unholy Loves / 1979 Night-Side: Eighteen Tales / 1977 Uncensored: Views & (Re)views / 2005
Bellefleur / 1980 All the Good People I’ve Left Behind / 1979 The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: 1973-1982 / 2007
Angel of Light / 1981 A Sentimental Education: Stories / 1980 In Rough Country: Essays and Reviews / 2010
A Bloodsmoor Romance / 1982 Last Days: Stories / 1984 A Widow’s Story: A Memoir / 2011
Mysteries of Winterthurn / 1984 Wild Saturday / 1984 The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age / 2015 
Solstice / 1985 Raven’s Wing: Stories / 1986 Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life / 2016
Marya: A Life / 1986 The Assignation: Stories / 1989
You Must Remember This / 1987 Oates In Exile / 1990
Lives of the Twins / 1987 Heat And Other Stories / 1991
American Appetites / 1989 Where Is Here?: Stories / 1992
Soul/Mate / 1989 Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Selected Early Stories / 1993
Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart / 1990 Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque / 1994
Nemesis / 1990 Demon and other tales / 1996
Snake Eyes / 1992 Will You Always Love Me? And Other Stories / 1996
Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang / 1993 The Collector of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque / 1998
What I Lived For / 1994 Faithless: Tales of Transgression / 2001
You Can’t Catch Me / 1995 I Am No One You Know: Stories / 2004
We Were The Mulvaneys / 1996 The Female of the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense / 2006
Double Delight / 1997 High Lonesome: New & Selected Stories, 1966–2006 / 2006
Man Crazy / 1997 The Museum of Dr. Moses: Tales of Mystery and Suspense / 2007
My Heart Laid Bare / 1998 Wild Nights!: Stories about the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway / 2008
Starr Bright Will Be With You Soon / 1999 Dear Husband,: Stories / 2009
Broke Heart Blues / 1999 Sourland: Stories / 2010
Blonde / 2000 Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense / 2011
The Barrens / 2001 The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares / 2011
Middle Age: A Romance / 2001 Black Dahlia & White Rose / 2012
I’ll Take You There / 2002 High Crime Area: Tales of Darkness and Dread / 2014
The Tattooed Girl / 2003 Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories / 2014
Take Me, Take Me With You / 2004  The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror / 2016
The Falls / 2004 DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense / 2017
The Stolen Heart / 2005 Beautiful Days: Stories / 2018
Missing Mom / 2005
Blood Mask / 2006
Black Girl / White Girl / 2006
The Gravedigger’s Daughter / 2007
My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike / 2008
Little Bird of Heaven / 2009
Mudwoman / 2012
Daddy Love / 2013
The Accursed / 2013
Carthage / 2014
The Sacrifice / 2015
Jack of Spades: A Tale of Suspense / 2015
The Man Without A Shadow / 2016
A Book of American Martyrs / 2017

Novellas

Anthologies

Young Adult

The Triumph of the Spider Monkey / 1976 Scenes from American Life: Contemporary Short Fiction / 1973 Big Mouth & Ugly Girl / 2002
I Lock My Door Upon Myself / 1990 The Best American Short Stories 1979 / 1979 Small Avalanches and Other Stories / 2003
The Rise of Life on Earth / 1991 Night Walks: A Bedside Companion / 1982 Freaky Green Eyes / 2003
Black Water / 1992 First Person Singular: Writers On Their Craft / 1983 Sexy / 2005
Zombie / 1995 Reading the Fights / 1988 After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread my Wings, and Flew Away / 2006
First Love: A Gothic Tale / 1996 The Best American Essays 1991 / 1991 Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You / 2012
Beasts / 2002 The Oxford Book of American Short Stories / 1992
Rape: A Love Story / 2003 The Sophisticated Cat / 1992
A Fair Maiden / 2010 The Essential Dickinson / 1996
Patricide / 2012 American Gothic Tales / 1996
The Rescuer / 2012 Tales of H.P. Lovecraft / 1998
Evil Eye: Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong / 2013 Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers / 1998
The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction / 1998
The Best American Essays of the Century / 2000
Snapshots: 20th Century Mother-Daughter Fiction / 2000
Best New American Voices 2003 / 2003
Best American Mystery Stories 2005 / 2005
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction / 2008
Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories / 2010
New Jersey Noir / 2011
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, 2nd Ed. / 2012
Prison Noir / 2014

Poetry

Plays

Children’s

Anonymous Sins & Other Poems / 1969 Miracle Play / 1974 Come Meet Muffin! / 1998
Love and Its Derangements: Poems / 1970 Three Plays / 1980 Where Is Little Reynard? / 2003
Angel Fire: Poems / 1973 In Darkest America: Two Plays / 1991 Naughty Chérie! / 2008
The Fabulous Beasts: Poems / 1975 I Stand Before You Naked / 1991
Women Whose Lives Are Food, Men Whose Lives Are Money / 1978 Twelve Plays / 1991
Invisible Woman: New & Selected Poems 1970-1982 / 1982 The Perfectionist and Other Plays / 1995
The Time Traveler / 1989 New Plays / 1998
Tenderness / 1996 Dr. Magic: Six One Act Plays / 2004
Wild Nights! and Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906: Two One Act Plays / 2009
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1 Comment »

  1. I’m of the same era as J.C.O. She has always been my favorite author, though why is difficult for me to explain–difficult for many to understand. Our upbringing is similar, I see, in reading this study of her life. So revealing for her faithful readers–*Invisible Writer* is a remarkable achievement. Ms Oates indeed illuminates from the dark, “simply” doing what she can.

    Like

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