Why I Love Joyce Carol Oates

A little over a year ago, I had merely heard the name Joyce Carol Oates. Then, I read that she would be speaking at the university I attend, Oregon State. I decided to attend with a couple of friends and was blown away by the sheer amount of books she’s written.

She’s written more than 70 novels.

70.

I left feeling so impressed at her reading and personality, I went home and ordered her most acclaimed book: Them.

jackson baer, jackson paul baer, the earth bleeds red, pandamoon publishing, what the hell, literary fiction, suspense, mystery, compelling fiction, new author, joyce carol oates, junot diaz, sherman alexie, novel with a twist, corvallis, books set in oregon

Now, ignore the person in the background while you see the honest interest I held for this book. It instantly became my favorite book and still is my favorite. The characters are written with such tangible qualities that I almost cried at one point in the novel. That is the only time a book has ever been able to do that to me and I want to share a few quotes from Joyce Carol Oates that are beautiful.

“I never change, I simply become more myself.”

“The worst thing: to give yourself away in exchange for not enough love.”

“When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.”

jackson baer, jackson paul baer, the earth bleeds red, pandamoon publishing, what the hell, literary fiction, suspense, mystery, compelling fiction, new author, joyce carol oates, junot diaz, sherman alexie, novel with a twist, corvallis, books set in oregon

The first quote is my favorite. I think it’s true that we don’t ever change, rather, we emerge. We emerge into what we want to be or who we choose to be. Sometimes it is good and other times it can be depressing. Whichever place you are in right now, know that you can become more yourself by making the choices you desire to be made for you.

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