Joyce Carol Oates on Writing

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Joyce Carol Oates grew up on a farm in Lockport, New York, 20 miles from Niagara Falls. She won the National Book Award in 1970 for her novel "Them," about a broken family in the Detroit slums.

Her output of fiction and poetry has been enormous. In more than 30 novels, including national bestsellers "We Were the Mulvaneys" and "Blonde," Oates has explored many faces of taboo and American family dysfunction.

Her latest novel, "The Falls," is no exception. The novel begins with a man on his honeymoon, running past a gatekeeper, climbing a railing and throwing himself into Niagara Falls. Oates juxtaposes the beauty, power and ferocity of Niagara Falls with the fragile relationships that come undone in her book.

Hear a conversation with National Book Review winner Joyce Carol Oates on her new novel "The Falls" and her luminous writing career.


Joyce Carol Oates, author of more than 30 novels including "We Were the Mulvaneys" and "Blonde." She is the winner of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is professor of humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Her new novel is "The Falls."

This program aired on October 11, 2004.


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