I'm nobody's daughter now. I'm through with that.

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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The mysteries of the female sex! We men can never hope to fathom your depths, but only try not to drown in them.

For madness must be punished in a world in which mere sanity is prized. The revenge of the ordinary upon the gifted.

Burnaby wasn't a Christian but he behaved like a Christian is supposed to behave which made Colborne, a Christian, uncomfortable.

Since thirteen, she'd been preparing. She wasn't beautiful like these Bayhead Harbor girls, but it was surprising how men sometimes looked at her. More it was older men rather than guys her age, for some reason. […] There were guys - older guys - she'd yearned for so frankly you could see it in her face.

Words are like wild birds - they will come when they wish, not when they are bidden.

I would know of myself through the witnessing and naming of others. As Jesus in the Gospels is only seen and spoken of and recorded by others. I would know my existence and the value of that existence through others' eyes, which I believed I could trust as I could not trust my own.

THANK YOU but please do not write again. And do not call. I have had enough of you.

Fiction that adds up, that suggests a "logical consistency," or an explanation of some kind, is surely second-rate fiction; for the truth of life is its mystery.

If you're living with a scientist, you see the world differently than you do with a humanist. It's in some ways very subtle, the differences in perceiving reality.

Much of the time he lay part-dressed on his bed, sipping gin, and thinking, and thinking, - though what it was, of which he thought, he seemed not to know.

But thinking it my duty to stretch the flayed skin of my childhood on some sort of skeleton of convention.

And remember: you must not overwork your body, or your soul. You must not enslave yourself, as you would not enslave any other person. You must be the custodian of your self.

I haven't any formal schedule, but I love to write in the morning, before breakfast. Sometimes the writing goes so smoothly that I don't take a break for many hours - and consequently have breakfast at two or three in the afternoon on good days.

A lawyer is basically a mouth, like a shark is a mouth attached to a long gut. The business of lawyers is to talk, to interrupt one another, and to devour each other if possible.