The 2003 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement celebrates Joyce Carol Oates for her uncompromising courage in crossing boundaries between genre and form. Oates gives her readers a rich, memorable library of work and has earned her place among the most acclaimed authors of her generation.
About Joyce Carol Oates
For the past four decades, Joyce Carol Oates has been in the forefront of American authors. Indeed, John Gardner has called her “one of the greatest writers of our time.” Producing novels, short stories, children’s books, essays, plays, anthologies, and more (including a series of suspense novels under the pseudonym of Rosamond Smith), Oates has created a body of work that is both diverse and of the first rank. As novelist John Barth once remarked, “Joyce Carol Oates writes all over the aesthetical map.”
Oates grew up on a farm in upstate New York, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. While attending Syracuse University, she won the prestigious college short story contest sponsored by Mademoiselle. She graduated as valedictorian, and then earned her M.A. at the University of Wisconsin. She spent a decade teaching at the University of Windsor (Canada), located across the river from Detroit. “Detroit, my ‘great’ subject,” she has written, “made me the person I am, consequently the writer I am—for better or worse.” Since 1978, she has taught at Princeton University, where she and her husband publish the Ontario Review, a literary journal. Among her many awards and achievements, Oates has received the National Book Award (for them), the Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in short fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the O. Henry Award for Continuing Achievement in the Short Story.
Joyce Carol Oates photo by Marion Ettlinger.