By Joyce Carol Oates

BY THE NORTH GATE introduces a new young American writer of singular talent. In her first collection of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates that she is both vital and sensitive—sometimes ironic, sometimes bitter, often violent, but always a writer with something to say and the tools with which to say it.

Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher: Vanguard
Year: 1963
Pages: 253

Because Miss Oates is young, her stories concern themselves with problems and situations that youth knows: the conflict between the hope of the young and the pessimism of the old; the realization of the injustices of the civilized order; the horror of the senseless cruelty condoned by society; the reality of evil, existing even in the good and the loving; brutality without motivation—the ultimate horror; the senseless machinations of fate that condition all of life. And, above all, man standing at the North Gate—the boundary between civilization and wilderness, both borne in his heart—and striving toward the victory which he is capable.

Within a framework of realism, in a world of sex and blood, of poverty and poetry, Miss Oates’s characters live their passions in stories that have already brought their brilliant young author two awards, won places in the O. Henry Awards Anthology and Martha Foley’s The Best American Short Stories 1963, as well as publication in the Southwest Review, the Colorado Quarterly, and Mademoiselle.


  • Swamps information
  • The Census Taker information
  • Ceremonies information
  • Sweet Love Remembered information
  • Boys at a Picnic information
  • Pastoral Blood information
  • An Encounter With the Blind information
  • Images information
  • Edge of the World information
  • A Legacy information
  • In the Old World information
  • The Fine White Mist of Winter information
  • The Expense of Spirit information
  • By the North Gate information

Book Covers


By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
I climb the towers and towers to watch out the barbarous land.

By RIHAKU, 8th century A.D.,
Translated by Ezra Pound
(From “Lament of the Frontier Guard”)



  • Saturday Review, October 26, 1963, p45
  • New York Times Book Review, November 10, 1963, p4, 61
  • Book Week, November 17, 1963, p32
  • Library Journal, December 15, 1963, p4873
  • Time, January 3, 1964, p80
  • Books Abroad, Summer 1964, p313
  • Epoch, Winter 1964, p171-172

Image: Dark Forest by Ian Muttoo

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