Joyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates, often referred to as JCO, (born June 16, 1938 in Lockport, New York) is an American writer of novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and non-fiction.
Life Oates grew up in the New York countryside, attending a one-room schoolhouse for her elementary education. She wrote stories as a child and received a typewriter from her grandmother at age 14. When she transferred to the high school in Lockport, she quickly distinguished herself. An excellent student, she contributed to her high school newspaper and won a scholarship to attend Syracuse University, where she majored in English. When she was only 19, she won the "college short story" contest sponsored by Mademoiselle magazine. Joyce Carol Oates was valedictorian of her graduating class. After receiving her BA degree. she earned her Master's in a single year at the University of Wisconsin. While studying in Wisconsin she met Raymond Smith. The two were married after a three-month courtship. In 1962, the couple settled in Detroit, Michigan. Joyce taught at the University of Detroit and had a front-row seat for the social turmoil engulfing America's cities in the 1960s. These violent realities informed much of her early fiction. Her first novel, With Shuddering Fall, was published when she was 28. Her novel them received the National Book Award in 1970.
In 1968, Joyce took a job at the University of Windsor, and the couple moved across the Detroit River to Windsor, in the Canadian province of Ontario. In the ten years that followed, Joyce Carol Oates published new books at the extraordinary rate of two or three per year, while teaching full-time. Many of her novels sold well; her short stories and critical essays solidified her reputation. Despite some critical grumbling about her phenomenal productivity, Oates had become one of the most respected and honored writers in the United States though only in her thirties.