Rollyson, Carl
February 1991
Research Guide to Biography & Criticism;1991, Vol. 6, p600
This article presents a research guide to the life and works of author Joyce Carol Oates. As Joanne Creighton observes in the book Joyce Carol Oates, the author has pursued a private life. She comes from a rural, Catholic, working-class background, and tense family conflicts are a staple of her fiction. Although she has hinted that certain traumatic scenes in her writing stem from her own childhood, she has been reticent about divulging the autobiographical basis of her stories. Clearly the metaphysical themes of her novels and stories grew out of her early training in philosophy. Thus far no full-length biography of Oates has appeared. For a succinct and well informed biographical sketch, see Creighton's critical study. Ellen G. Friedman's book, Joyce Carol Oates , provides a detailed chronology of Oates's life and work. Chapter one of Greg Johnson, Understanding Joyce Carol Oates also contains important biographical information.


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