Elaine Showalter reports on JCO’s Princeton retirement celebration:

Joyce Carol Oates was celebrated Nov. 7 as she retires from the Princeton University Creative Writing Program after 36 years. It was a gala day of tributes from her former students, friends and colleagues. Gathered for a banquet at the university’s Prospect House, the crowd — including Jonathan Ames, Louis Bayard, Christopher Beha, Pinckney Benedict, Henri Cole, Jonathan Safran Foer, A.M. Homes, Walter Kirn, Jeffrey Eugenides, Sheila Kohler, Chang-rae Lee, Jhumpa Lahiri, Susanna Moore, Dexter Palmer, James Richardson, Whitney Terrell, C.K. Williams, Susan Wheeler and Edmund White — was just a tiny sampling of Oates’s enormous literary circle and influence.

A boxing aficionado, Oates was presented with a gilded trophy showing her as a boxer: the Featherweight Champion of the Literary World.

Read more at the Washington Post.

1 Comment »

  1. She is the HEAVYWEIGHT champion of the literary world. Such miraculous, prodigious gifts at the service of humanity, particularly the citizenry of the United States. It seems to me that this writer has accomplished–and then some–her great Balzacian goal. Oates was once asked by a reporter what words she would like on her tombstone. Oates answered, “She tried.” To which I would add, “And she succeeded splendidly.”

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