Joyce Carol Oates Interviewed by Two Major Italian Newspapers

Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates

JCU’s Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation had the honor of hosting renowned American author Joyce Carol Oates as Novelist in Residence this summer. In addition to leading workshops for creative writing students, Ms. Oates gave two public readings and announced the winners of JCU’s 2012 Italy Writes creative writing contest for Italian high school students. Two major Italian newspapers interviewed Ms. Oates while she was in Rome.

In the interview in La Stampa, Ms. Oates tells journalist Paolo Mastrolilli about her new novel Mudwoman, about whether or not creative writing can be taught (she teaches it), but also about the importance of education as an antidote to the plague of racism in the United States.

 Read the interview in La Stampa (in Italian), courtesy of Data Stampa

In the interview in Il Messaggero Ms. Oates talks to journalist Annabella d’Avino about her love for Rome (“I chose it as a backdrop for a story I am currently writing about a couple in crisis: beauty as a contrast to suffering.”) She explains how her stories are often born out of violent acts (“Destruction is necessary in order to arrive at the reconstruction of the self, and to a greater truth.”) and how writing about cruelty is the most human way to elicit empathy and compassion. She also talks about the cruelty provoked by contemporary finance: “The American dream has been simply to get rich and accumulate as much money as possible. Very few people have managed to do this and now we are seeing the wreckage this has provoked.”

 Read the interview in Il Messaggero (in Italian) 

Joyce Carol Oates
published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. Her novel Them (1969) won the National Book Award, and her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her many awards include the M.L. Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. Henry Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story, the Prix Femina Étranger, and the National Humanities Medal. Since 2008, Oates has been the the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978.