Oates reportedly stops writing only to speak

In his current “World of Books” column for the Telegraph, Mark Sanderson says, “Joyce Carol Oates has now written well over 100 books yet there seems to be no danger of her running out of words”:

This month, for example, sees the publication of her latest novel, The Tattooed Girl. A collection of her short stories, Faithless: Tales of Transgression, has just been published in paperback and a collection of essays, The Faith of a Writer, has just been issued in her native United States. In one of the essays Oates suggests that to write is to “invite angry censure from those who don’t write, or who don’t write in quite the way you do”.

One clue to her fecundity was provided by a fellow author (who, although well-known, wished to remain anonymous) who appeared at a literary breakfast with her. Ms Oates did not talk to him, did not eat anything, nor did she listen to any of the speeches – but she did keep writing until the very last moment before it was her turn to speak.

Sanderson also reveals that Julian Barnes’ second short story collection, The Lemon Table, will appear in the U.K. in March. Next month, Canongate makes Z.Z. Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere available to British readers.


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