"I come from people who did not go to college. They didn't even finish high school. People who one might call ordinary Americans who are very hardworking."
Growing up on a farm in the rundown North Country of Upstate New York seems an unlikely preparation for a literary career, but today, Joyce Carol Oates is one of America's most prolific and respected authors. She has distinguished herself in the academic world as teacher and critic, while earning a fortune as the author of best-selling novels in a wide range of genres, from the family chronicle to the historical novel, the gothic horror story and the suspense novel, at the same time writing plays, verse and fiction of the highest literary quality. Her work has been distinguished from the beginning by a keen, unflinching interest in the nature of evil, and the sources of violence in American life.
She is the author of over 50 novels, winner of the National Book Award for the novel them and of the PEN/Malamud award, given by the international writers' association for "a lifetime of literary achievement."