Joyce Carol Oates is a distinguished literary talent who has written numerous award-winning works of literature. Here is a brief overview of her life. \n\n- __Early life__: Born in Lockport, New York in 1938, Joyce began writing at the age of 14. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school and furthered her education at Syracuse University where she graduated in 1960 as valedictorian. Later, she received her M. A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. \n- __Early career__: In 1963, Joyce published her first collection of short stories titled *By the North Gate*, and a year later, she completed her first novel *With Shuddering Fall* (1964). In 1974, she founded the literary magazine *The Ontario Review* with then-husband Raymond Smith, which led to her founding the independent publishing house Ontario Review Books. At moments in her career, she has written under [pseudonyms](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-and-why-to-use-a-pseudonym) “Rosamond Smith” and “Lauren Kelly.” \n- __Literary career__: To date, Joyce has written over 50 novels, including *Bellefleur* (1980), *You Must Remember This* (1987), *Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang* (1993), *Zombie* (1995), *Carthage* (2014), and *A Book of American Martyrs* (2017), in addition to least 30 short story collections, along with a number of plays, poems, novellas, book reviews, and essays across multiple genres. Joyce has also written a memoir, *A Widow’s Story* (2011), following the unexpected death of her husband. \n- __Teaching and accolades__: Joyce has taught at Princeton University in New Jersey, the University of Detroit in Michigan, as well as the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. She has received the Norman Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement, two O. Henry Awards, a National Humanities Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, as well as the National Book Award, for which she has been nominated multiple times.\nJoyce Carol Oates has written dozens of books that span a diverse range of themes and subject matters. Some of Joyce’s most notable works include: \n\n1. __*A Garden of Earthly Delights* (1967)__: *A Garden of Earthly Delights* follows farmer’s daughter Clara Walpole and the men who shape her life, tackling class, gender, and coming of age. This novel was a finalist for the 1968 annual U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. \n2. __*Them* (1969)__: Stylized as *them*, this novel is part of Joyce’s *Wonderland* series, which explores the struggles of American life through the eyes of three separate characters. This story received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1970. \n3. __*Wonderland* (1971)__: The fourth and final book in Joyce’s *Wonderland* series, this novel follows the life of Jesse Vogel, from his Great Depression-era childhood, through his marriage and career. This book was a finalist for the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. \n4. __*Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart* (1990)__: This story focuses on the friendship of a young white girl and young black boy who commit a murder in self-defense. It was nominated for best work of fiction in the 1990 National Book Awards.\n5. __*Black Water* (1992)__: *Black Water* draws inspiration from the Chappaquiddick incident in 1969, in which Senator Ted Kennedy left a party on Martha’s Vineyard with a young woman and, subsequently, drove both himself and the young woman over a bridge. He swam away alive, but the 28-year-old woman did not. This book was a finalist for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. \n6. __*We Were the Mulvaneys* (1996)__: This novel follows the story of a seemingly perfect family whose lives are upended after the daughter, Marianne, is sexually assaulted by the son of her father’s friend. The incident affects each family member individually and ends up pushing them away from each other into their own separate lives. This book became a national bestseller after being selected by Oprah’s Book Club in 2001. \n7. __*Blonde* (2000)__: *Blonde* is a fictional, historical novel about the life of Marilyn Monroe. One of Joyce’s longest texts, this national bestseller was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. \n8. __*The Falls* (2004)__: *The Falls* follows a woman whose husband perished on their honeymoon, and the events that follow. This story landed on *The New York Times* bestsellers list, and was the winner of the 2005 Prix Femina étranger, a distinguished French literary prize determined by an all-female jury. \n9. __*The Gravedigger's Daughter* (2007)__: This tale centers around protagonist Rebecca Tignor, whose life is plagued by violence and tragedy. The story is inspired by Joyce’s real-life grandmother, whose father was also a gravedigger who had violent tendencies toward his wife and daughter. The novel debuted at number 17 on *The New York Times* bestsellers list.\nIn addition to novels, essays, and poems, Joyce Carol Oates has written a number of notable collections of short stories, including: \n\n1. __*High Lonesome: New \u0026 Selected Short Stories* (1966–2006)__: This is the largest collection of Joyce Carol Oates’ short stories, including titles like “Objects in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear,” and “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?” The second story follows a young, selfish girl named Connie, who encounters a sinister, devil-like man named Arnold Friend, and has been included in *The Best American Short Stories* (1967), and *Prize Stories: The O’Henry Awards* (1968).\n2. __*Black Dahlia \u0026 White Rose: Stories* (2012)__: This collection of 11 short stories follows the friendship of eventual murder victim Elizabeth Short, famously known as “The Black Dahlia,” and her roommate, Norma Jeane Baker, who the world knew as Marilyn Monroe. The collection won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, and was nominated for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award that same year. \n3. __*Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories* (2014)__: The stories in *Lovely, Dark, Deep* explore themes of darkness and happiness, covering a variety of subjects such as abortion, infidelity, cancer, and suicide. This series of stories was nominated as a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.\nBecome a better writer with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, and more.\nAmerican writer Joyce Carol Oates has penned a number of stories and novels across a variety of genres throughout her award-winning career.