Renowned author Joyce Carol Oates will give a free public reading April 18 at 8 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall on the campus of Converse College. Her reading will be followed by a question and answer session and a book signing. Her visit to the Upstate is made possible by the Friends of Literary Arts Series with assistance by Converse alumna and Greenville resident Jane Creech. For more information, call (864) 596-9099.
Three times nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature, Oates is a prolific writer who has produced some of the most controversial fiction of our time. Her novel, “Them”(1969), was set in racially volatile 1960s Detroit and won the 1970 National Book Award. “Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart” (1990) focused on an interracial teenage romance. “Black Water” (1992), a narrative based on the Kennedy-Chappaquiddick scandal, garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and her national bestseller “Blonde” (2000), an epic work on American icon Marilyn Monroe, became a National Book Award Finalist, and “We Were the Mulvaneys” (1996) earned the top spot on The New York Times Bestseller List.
Some of Oates’ novels explore large, societal themes while others zoom in to examine the more intimate fault lines of families. Her 2005 novel, “Missing Mom,” details a daughter’s worst nightmare: discovering that her mother has been brutally murdered. On April 11, Ecco will release “High Lonesome: Selected Stories, 1966-2006,” which is a gathering of stories from Oates’s seminal collections, including The Wheel of Love (1970), Marriages and Infidelities (1972) and Heat (1991), arranged by decade.
Oates’ writing has earned her much praise and many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in short fiction, the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy – Institute of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the O’Henry Prize for Continued Achievement in the Short Story, the National Book Award for “Them,” and in 1978, membership in the American Academy-Institute. “What I Lived For” was nominated for the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award.