Mom was furious at the way people abandoned their pets in the country—As if animals aren't human, too.

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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My grandmother could never have written a memoir, so 'The Gravedigger's Daughter' is a homage to her life, and to the lives of other young women of her generation, which are so rarely articulated.

Stalwart Zeno seemed oblivious, that faith in his daughter being alive after more than forty days did not compute with faith that Brett Kincaid would soon be arrested for a crime involving his daughter.

The worst cynicism: a belief in luck.

Like the silence that surrounds the tolling of the bell allows you to hear the bell.

I wasn't so special, honey. Except that I was your dad, I wasn't so special.

I always rewrite the very beginning of a novel. I rewrite the beginning as I write the ending, so I may spend part of morning writing the ending, the last 100 pages approximately, and then part of the morning revising the beginning. So the style of the novel has a consistency.

As a librarian for 18 years at the Merck branch of the Trenton Public Library, I was sorely tested by the slow-witted and obtuse among the citizenry.

For what are the words with which to summarize a lifetime, so much crowded confused happiness terminated by such stark slow-motion pain?

If Marianne had noticed.

The hopeful young author had no doubt that books might change the world.

A predatory bird with a great sharp beak and vicious talons—Paradox. To be in its grip is to suffer, yet so exquisitely, one might mistake the experience for a kind of ecstasy. Josiah.

But he doesn't love her. I invented that. It is a plot if you imagine people in love--the lazy looping criss crosses of love, blows, stares, tears. No. It doesn't happen. No love. People meet, touch, stare into one another's faces, shake their heads clear, move on, forget. It doesn't happen.

The coolly calibrated manipulation of the credulous American public, by an administration bent upon stoking paranoid patriotism!

A woman convinced against her will is of the same opinion still.