A Year in Reading: Joyce Carol Oates

December 4, 2015 | 2 books mentioned

covercoverAmong the most engaging new books I’ve perused in recent months are C.K. Williams’s Selected Later Poems — beautifully intricate, contentious, strikingly ardent poems by one of our great contemporary poets; The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson — a treasure trove of contemporary American writing, fiction, poetry, non-fiction that should be required reading for new and emerging writers; 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories — a wonderfully idiosyncratic collection assembled by Lorrie Moore containing little-known stories by classic writers and with an emphasis upon the very new; and Tracy Daugherty’s meticulously researched, warmly sympathetic biography of Joan Didion, The Last Love Song.

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is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.