Chestertown, MD, February 28, 2002 — The Sophie Kerr Lecture Series at Washington College presents a talk and book signing by acclaimed author, Joyce Carol Oates, on Friday, March 22, 2002, at 4 p.m. in the College's Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
In the world of American fiction, Oates stands out of one of the nation's most accomplished and prolific contemporary writers. At age 31, Oates became one of the youngest writers to receive the National Book Award for fiction for her novel them, the story of a poor Detroit family trapped in a cycle of violence and poverty. Oates published her first book, an anthology of short stories entitled By the North Gate, at age 25 and has averaged two books a year ever since. She has not limited herself to any particular genre or even to one literary style. As novelist John Barth said, "Joyce Carol Oates writes all over the aesthetical map," and her work includes over two dozen novels, numerous short story collections, poetry, plays, essays and literary criticism.
A diverse practitioner, Oates has written novels of realism and psychological exploration, realistic short stories—for which she garnered the O. Henry Special Award for Continuing Achievement—Gothic parodies, and suspenseful tales that infuse the ordinary with terror. Critics praise her for exploring the dark side of American life. As she stated in Chicago Tribune Book World, "I am concerned with only one thing: the moral and social conditions of my generation." She has taught creative writing at Princeton University since 1978.