The historical Woodrow Wilson suffered from numerous complaints which we might today label as psychosomatic. Yet, Wilson did have a stroke as a relatively young man of 39 and seemed always to be ill. He was 'high-strung' - intensely neurotic - yet a charismatic personality nonetheless.

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

A jury is as bright as the dumbest member of the jury.

I don't read for amusement, I read for enlightenment. I do a lot of reviewing, so I have a steady assignment of reading. I'm also a judge for the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which gives awards to literature and nonfiction.

Yes, 'Black Girl/White Girl' might be described as a 'coming-of-age' novel, at least for the survivor Genna. It is also intended as a comment on race relations in America more generally: we are 'roommates' with one another, but how well do we know one another?

She was there beside him, an incalculable distance away.

After my husband died, I could not write much - I could not concentrate. I was too exhausted most of the time even to contemplate writing. But I did take notes - not for fiction, but for a journal, or diary, of this terrible time. I did not think that I would ever survive this interlude.

Sunny wintry days. The idyll of (inner) loneliness. What am I going to do with my life?

He was ugly, himself. Weird-ugly. But ugliness in a man doesn't matter, much. Ugliness in a woman is her life.

Writers are notoriously unable to know about themselves. Faulkner thought 'The Fable' was his best novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald liked 'Tender Is the Night,' an experimental novel.

Prose—it might be speculated—is discourse; poetry ellipsis. Prose is spoken aloud; poetry overheard. The one is presumably articulate and social, a shared language, the voice of communication; the other is private, allusive, teasing, sly, idiosyncratic as the spider's delicate web, a kind of witchcraft unfathomable to ordinary minds.

The great menace to the life of an industry is industrial self-complacency.

I've never thought of writing as the mere arrangement of words on the page but the attempted embodiment of a vision; a complex of emotions; raw experience. The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort.

For isn't the artist by nature a revolutionary?

There is an hour, a minute - you will remember it forever - when you know instinctively on the basis of the most inconsequential evidence, that something is wrong. You don't know - can't know - that it is the first of a series of "wrongful" events that will culminate in the utter devastation of your life as you have known it.

I am not conscious of working especially hard, or of 'working' at all. Writing and teaching have always been, for me, so richly rewarding that I don't think of them as work in the usual sense of the word.