In 2008 Joyce Carol Oates lost the husband—Raymond Smith—to whom she’d been married for 48 years. Her recollections of those harrowing early days of widowhood provide a glimpse of Oates as a teacher of writers and as caretaker of the literary magazine she and her husband kept in print for so long.
He wondered what letters of recommendation his teachers were writing for him. What was in the confidential file locked away in the principal's office?
Sunny didn’t tell anyone about the engagement ring. Of all sins, she thought, betrayal is surely the worst
... a day had to come when women shattered the pearl of their love for pristine and feminine will and found the man, yes that man in the million who could become the point of the seed which would give an egg back to nature, and let the woman return with a babe who came from the root of God’s desire. . . .
Norman Mailer, THE PRISONER OF SEX
The author, though, still in her twenties, has already won a reputation as one of the most accomplished young writers in America. Her short stories hare appeared in many magazines, and hare been included in the past three O. Henry collections. A graduate of Syracuse University, Miss Oates teaches English at the University of Detroit. Her third book, UPON THE SWEEPING FLOOD, a collection of short stories, has just been published by Vanguard.