Joyce Carol Oates: Biography
Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938, in Lockport, New York, the oldest of Frederic and Caroline Oates's three children. The family lived on a farm owned by Caroline's parents. Joyce's father was a tool designer, and her mother was a housewife. Oates was a serious child who read a great deal. Even before she could write, she told stories by drawing pictures. She has said that her childhood "was dull, ordinary, nothing people would be interested in," but she has admitted that "a great deal frightened me." In 1953, at age fifteen, Oates wrote her first novel, though it was rejected by publishers who found its subject matter, which concerned the rehabilitation (the restoring to a useful state) of a drug addict, too depressing for teenage audiences. After high school Oates won a scholarship to Syracuse University, In 1961, after Oates earned her master's degree and began wwhere she studied English. Before her senior year she was the co-winner of a fiction contest sponsored by Mademoiselle magazine. After graduating at the top of her class in 1960, Oates enrolled in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, where she met Raymond Joseph Smith, an English professor. They were married in 1961.She then went on to work on her doctorate in English, she found one of her own stories in Margaret Foley's collection Best American Short Stories. Oates then decided on a writing career, and in 1963 she published her first volume of short stories, By the North Gate (1963). Oates also taught at the University of Detroit between 1961 and 1967. In 1967 she and her husband moved to Canada to teach at the University of Windsor, where together they founded the publication Ontario Review in 1974. After leaving the University of Windsor in 1977, Oates became writer-in-residence and later a professor at Princeton University in New Jersey. Oates's first novel, With Shuddering Fall (1964), shows her interest in evil and violence in the...
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