That I was sleeping at a time when my husband was dying is so horrible a thought, I can't confront it.

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

Profession: Author
Nationality: American

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For the wanting to be good,in defiance of justice, is one of mankind's greatest weaknesses.

For the writer, the serial killer is, abstractly, an analogue of the imagination's caprices and amorality; the sense that, no matter the dictates and even the wishes of the conscious social self, the life or will or purpose of the imagination is incomprehensible, unpredictable.

Often in gothic novels there's a large house, an estate, and it's symbolic of that culture. Usually it's sort of moldering or rotted or something, and sometimes it's a whole community.

My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.

Betrayal is the deepest wound. Betrayal is what remains of love, when love has gone.

On the way home Mary Lou said, "Some things are so sad you can't say them." But I pretended not to hear.

You don't understand! Gilbert turned his back on me, but he wouldn't have turned his back on God. Ariah.

In marriage, the most intense conversations are often with oneself.

And that's the insult of it, how always it comes back to a woman being a "good" mother in the world's eyes or a "bad" mother, how everything in a woman's life is funneled through her body between her legs.

I was writing novels in high school and apprenticed myself in a way both to Faulkner and to Hemingway.

You need so much energy and encouragement to write that if someone says something negative, some of that energy goes.

Such speculation is like staring into the hot white sun. you know the sun is there but you can't see a thing.

Momma used to say, you got to know when to move. More important than knowing when to stay put.

Love you in that cheerleader's costume. Last Friday. You didn't see me I guess. But I was there.