Joyce Carol Oates (b.1938)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch33

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Joyce Carol Oates (b.1938), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch33

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Joyce Carol Oates (b.1938), such a prolific writer - sheer range and number of her publications, themselves the subject of discussion;
  • Joyce Carol Oates, compared to Flannery O'Connor - fiction, concerned with themes of violence, obsession, and sexuality, accompanied by elements of gothic horror;
  • Black Water (1992), incidents similar to Chappaquiddick incident - involving Senator Edward Kennedy, and Blonde (2000), fictional account of the life of Marilyn Monroe;
  • The novel My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike (2008) - echoing the case of the murdered six-year-old Jon Benet Ramsey;
  • Oates, with Bellefleur (1980) - first of a number of ambitious gothic novels, moving away for this series from realism of her earlier work;
  • A Bloodsmoor Romance (1982) and Mysteries of Winterthurn (1984) - and Bellefleur telling the story of various members of the rich and influential Bellefleur family;
  • Oates, demonstrating her own sense - century's most important American writers, in her selection for The Best American Essays of the Century (2000), co-edited with Robert Atwan;
  • useful complementary volume, her edition of The Best New American Voices 2003(2002);
  • The Best New American Voices 2003 (2002) - 15 stories, from this work produced in writing programs from across the country;
  • Oates's thirty-sixth novel - based upon biography of her grandmother


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography