Joyce Carol Oates

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For nearly 40 years, Joyce Carol Oates has probed the dark side of American life writing about the moral and social conditions of her generation in novels, short stories, essays, plays and poems.

The author of nearly 100 books, Oates began her prestigious career in 1963 with her first collection of short stories, "By the North Gate." At age 31, she became one of the youngest authors ever to win the National Book Award. Her winning novel, "them," explores the violence and poverty suffered by three generations of a Detroit family. In 2001, Oates’ 1996 novel "We Were the Mulvaneys" climbed to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list after the Oprah Book Club selected it as a book of the month.

"Without question, Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most profound, versatile and altogether remarkable artists of our time," said local author William Bernhardt, chairman of the Distinguished Author Award Selection Committee. "Like Edith Wharton and Henry James before her, Oates is a writer in the great American tradition of serious literary novelists who also have broad popular appeal. She is truly a literary master."

Throughout her prolific writing career, Oates has not limited herself to any particular genre or literary style. She has received many accolades for her novels, as well as the O’Henry Special Award for Continuing Achievement for her short fiction, the Heidemann Award for her plays, National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim fellowship and the Walt Whitman Award for her poetry.

Her novels include "A Garden of Earthly Delights," "Unholy Loves," "You Must Remember This," "Bellefleur," "Mysteries of Winterthurn," "Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart," "Black Water," "Blonde" and "What I Lived For." Oates released three works in 2002: "Beasts," "I’ll Take You There" and the young adult novel "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl."

Under the pseudonym Rosamond Smith, Oates has written several mystery novels, including "Lives of the Twins," "Soul/Mate" and "Snake Eyes." In addition to her writing, Oates teaches at Princeton University and publishes with her husband The Ontario Review, a prominent literary journal.