Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers / Edition 1

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Overview

Drawing on syllabi for Joyce Carol Oates’s own writing seminar at Princeton University, Telling Stories gathers over one hundred works of narrative art—"miniature" narratives, dramatic monologues, early stories by well-known writers, prose pieces inspired by myth, legend, and folktale, poems that tell stories, memoir and diary excerpts, two examples of genre fiction, and a generous sampling of classic and contemporary short stories—selected to stimulate and inspire beginning writers as they practice and perfect their craft.
Oates’s chapter introductions and afterword on the writing workshop offer students encouragement, advice, and exercises for honing their skills.
As a teacher, Oates emphasizes the importance of reading widely with enthusiasm, pleasure, and purpose. Telling Stories reflects this emphasis, introducing students to a variety of models for their own writing and encouraging them to concentrate on details, revise often, make material their own, experiment with genre, and ultimately find their own voice.
Edited by a contemporary master of the storyteller’s art "who defines herself primarily as a friend of the text and a friend of the writer," Telling Stories is the perfect anthology for creative writing workshops and fiction classes and a wellspring of inspiration for any beginning writer."The love of storytelling—to hear stories, and to tell them—is universal in our species. Those with an apparent talent for writing. . . are not of a special breed but simply mirror the common human desire. [If] you have a natural talent for writing, and a love of the imagination, you risk a lifelong deprivation if you fail to cultivate it as vigorously as you can. Write your own ’great American novel‘. . . you’re talented, you’re intelligent, you have the driving passion, and you know as much as anyone about American life. Your story belongs uniquely to you." —Joyce Carol Oates, from the Introduction

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393971767
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 752
  • Sales rank: 398,730
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is one of our most important and well known writers—and one of America’s foremost writers of the short story form. She is also a regular contributor of reviews and criticism for the New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. She also reads and lectures widely throughout the US, at universities and bookstores.

Biography

Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most influential and important storytellers in the literary world. She has often used her supreme narrative skills to examine the dark side of middle-class Americana, and her oeuvre includes some of the finest examples of modern essays, plays, criticism, and fiction from a vast array of genres. She is still publishing with a speed and consistency of quality nearly unheard of in contemporary literature.

A born storyteller, Oates has been spinning yarns since she was a little girl too young to even write. Instead, she would communicate her stories through drawings and paintings. When she received her very first typewriter at the age of 14, her creative floodgates opened with a torrent. She says she wrote "novel after novel" throughout high school and college -- a prolificacy that has continued unabated throughout a professional career that began in 1963 with her first short story collection, By the North Gate.

Oates's breakthrough occurred in 1969 with the publication of them, a National Book Award winner that established her as a force to be reckoned with. Since that auspicious beginning, she has been nominated for nearly every major literary honor -- from the PEN/Faulkner Award to the Pulitzer Prize -- and her fiction turns up with regularity on The New York Times annual list of Notable Books.

On average Oates publishes at least one novel, essay anthology, or story collection a year (during the 1970s, she produced at the astonishing rate of two or three books a year!). And although her fiction often exposes the darker side of America's brightest facades – familial unrest, sexual violence, the death of innocence – she has also made successful forays into Gothic novels, suspense, fantasy, and children's literature. As novelist John Barth once remarked, "Joyce Carol Oates writes all over the aesthetical map."

Where she finds the time for it no one knows, but Oates manages to combine her ambitious, prolific writing career with teaching: first at the University of Windsor in Canada, then (from 1978 on), at Princeton University in New Jersey. For all her success and fame, her daily routine of teaching and writing has changed very little, and her commitment to literature as a transcendent human activity remains steadfast.

Good To Know

When not writing, Oates likes to take in a fight. "Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost," she says in highbrow fashion of the lowbrow sport.

Oates's Black Water, which is a thinly veiled account of Ted Kennedy's car crash in Chappaquiddick, was produced as an opera in the 1990s.

In 2001, Oprah Winfrey selected Oates's novel We Were the Mulvaneys for her Book Club.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Rosamond Smith
    2. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 16, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lockport, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Syracuse University, 1960; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961

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