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Joyce Carol Oates: A Study of the Short Fiction Greg Johnson

Joyce Carol Oates: A Study of the Short Fiction

Greg Johnson

Published March 1st 1994
ISBN : 9780805708578
Hardcover
235 pages
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 About the Book 

Joyce Carol Oates is often called Americas most prolific living writer, but it is perhaps her versatility that is most astounding. Just as she is a revered novelist, playwright, poet, and critic, the short stories gathered in her 21 publishedMoreJoyce Carol Oates is often called Americas most prolific living writer, but it is perhaps her versatility that is most astounding. Just as she is a revered novelist, playwright, poet, and critic, the short stories gathered in her 21 published collections - from By the North Gate (1963) to Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque (1994) - vary in theme and style, although all evoke the bedrock natural and social reality that has consistently informed her fiction. In this comprehensive survey of Oatess stories, Greg Johnson selects eight of her collections that he considers most representative of her work and among her most successful books. He analyzes stories in which Oates experiments with form, genre, allusion, and Gothicism and presents postmodern allegories of American life. Separate chapters are devoted to Oatess early Eden County stories in By the North Gate and Upon the Sweeping Flood (1966), her stories focused on female experience in The Wheel of Love (1970) and The Goddess and Other Women (1974), her experimentation with fictional form and genre in Marriages and Infidelities (1972) and Night-Side (1977), and her recent work in Ravens Wing (1986) and Heat (1991), dealing with the psychology and culture of contemporary life. The volumes second part presents a 1981 interview with Oates (conducted by Sanford Pinsker), as well as a copious selection of Oatess writing about her stories and the form generally - a discussion of her early stories- separate appraisals of Funland, Heat, The Swimmers, and Why Dont You Come Live with Me Its Time- her response to the question Is there a female voice?- and her comments on the translation of short story into film. Part 3 consists of four critical essays - by scholars Marilyn C. Wesley, Daniel L. Zins, Robert McPhillips, and Gretchen Schulz - commissioned specifically for this volume, as well as previously published essays by William Abrahams, Elaine Showalter, and Elizabeth Pochoda. Johnsons exploration of