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Category: Reviews

Books 3

John Updike


John Updike was “the contemporary American writer [Joyce Carol Oates] most admired,” according to Greg Johnson’s biography of JCO: “Updike’s rural upbringing, his devotion to the art of fiction, his […]

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My Sister, My Love is John Barth with Heart


Kevin Morris and Glenn Altschuler of The Huffington Post offer a perceptive and entertaining review of Joyce Carol Oates’s My Sister, My Love: “Oates’ intentions are signaled with a quotation that precedes the book. In ‘Aesthetics of Composition’ (1846), we learn, E. A. Pym opined that ‘the death of a beautiful child is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.’ […]

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JCO Reviews Keith Gessen in the New York Review of Books


Joyce Carol Oates reviews Keith Gessen’s All the Sad Young Literary Men in the New York Review of Books: “Beginning with its risky yet playful title, All the Sad Young Literary Men is a rueful, undramatic, mordantly funny, and frequently poignant sequence of sketch-like stories loosely organized by chronology and place and the prevailing theme of youthful literary ideals vis-à-vis […]

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Sam Coale on JCO’s Journal


Sam Coale, Professor of English at Wheaton College, reviews The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates in The Providence Journal. “In this dazzling, forthright and revealing record of her life from ages 34 to 44, … Oates feels herself existentially marooned between the polarities of work and life, public image and private reality, obsession and community, the self in all its […]

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New York Review of Books on JCO


Michael Dirda, a Washington Post book critic, reviews several Joyce Carol Oates works in the New York Review of Books, including The Gravedigger’s Daughter (“Though one may argue about aspects of the book, there can be no question of its power and conviction. The same can be said about most of Oates’s major novels …. Oates is never merely a […]

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JCO Reviews Bernard Malamud Biography


Joyce Carol Oates reviews Bernard Malamud: A Writer’s Life by Philip Davis in the Times Literary Supplement. JCO offers a brief overview of Malamud’s work, and judges Davis with appreciation: “Most biographies trudge along the surface of a life, amassing and presenting facts, like rubble on a shovel, in which a very few precious gems might be visible; this pioneering […]