Joyce Carol Oates
Birthplace: Lockport, New York
Typewriter: SCM Smith Corona Electra*; Swintec 1000 typewriter.
Oates writes about contemporary American life, which she sees as often defined by violence. She is particularly concerned with the connection between violence and love. Her characters are mainly ordinary, inarticulate people who sublimate the terrible things that happen to them. Although some of her novels have been labeled gothic, the violence in them is neither mysterious nor necessarily dramatic; it occurs randomly as in everyday life.
An extraordinarily prolific writer, Oates has published dozens of novels. They include With Shuddering Fall (1964); a trilogy: A Garden of Earthly Delights (1967, rev. ed. 2003), Expensive People (1968), and Them (1969); Wonderland (1971); Childwold (1976); Cybele (1979); Bellefleur (1980); Solstice (1985); and Because It Is Bitter, Because It Is My Heart (1990); What I Lived For (1994); My Heart Laid Bare (1998); Blonde (2000), a fictional work based on the life of Marilyn Monroe; and I'll Take You There (2002). Oates's numerous short stories are collected in Wheel of Love (1970), A Sentimental Education (1981), Heat (1991), Will You Always Love Me (1996), Faithless (2001), and other volumes. Oates also has published thrillers under the name Rosamond Smith, plus poems, plays, children's fiction, essays, literary criticism, and a book on boxing (1988).
Trivia: Her grandmother gave her a typewriter when Oates was 14.
She writes in longhand with stack of notes, and then take them to a typewriter and elaborate somewhat, make more of a scene from the notes.
The typewriter of choice is a Japanese made Swintec 1000 electronic typewriter with "a little memory" but no screen. A disaffected computer user, Oates found herself at one time "hypnotized by my word processor”.