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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

'To Embark on a (Writing) Quest'

“To write a novel is to embark on a quest that is very romantic. People have visions, and the next step is to execute them. That's a very romantic project. Like Edvard Munch's strange dreamlike canvases where people are stylized, like 'The Scream.' Munch must have had that vision in a dream; he never saw it.”  Joyce Carol Oates

Born on this day in 1938, Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over 40 novels, a number of plays and novellas, many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and been a frequent reviewer of others’ works.  A long-time professor of writing, she still serves as a Visiting Professor.

She is the winner of many writing awards, including the National Book Award for her novel Them, two O. Henry Awards, and the National Humanities Medal.    Five of her books have been nominated for Pulitzer Prizes and she’s considered a “short lister” for the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

Despite her remarkable and prolific output, she says she never rushes the completion process for each of her works.   “My reputation for writing quickly and effortlessly notwithstanding, I am strongly in favor of intelligent, even fastidious revision, which is, or certainly should be, an art in itself."                                        



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