The prolific and profound author of innumerable novels, plays, and poems, Joyce Carol Oates delivers this year’s Robert B. Silvers lecture, titled "Is The Uninspired Life Worth Living?"
There is no more versatile and accomplished American writer than JOYCE CAROL OATES. The author of many books, Oates has penned best-selling novels, critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, as well as essays, plays, poetry, a recent memoir, and an unlikely bestseller, On Boxing. Her remarkable literary industry - which includes work as an editor and anthologist - spans forms, themes, topics and genres. In 2010, reflecting on the widespread esteem in which her work is held, President Obama awarded Oates the National Humanities Medal.
Best known for her fiction, Oates’ novels include them, which won the National Book Award; Blonde; The Falls, which won the France’s Prix Femina; The Gravedigger’s Daughter; Little Bird of Heaven; and We Were the Mulvaneys. Since 1963, forty of Oates’s books have been included on the New York Times list of notable books of the year. Among her many honors are two O. Henry Prizes and two Bram Stoker Awards, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the M. L. Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Book Critics Circle, the Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement and the PEN Center USA Award for Lifetime Achievement. Joyce Carol Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and since 1978, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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The Robert B. Silvers Lecture is an annual series created by Max Palevsky in recognition of the work of Robert B. Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books.