Joyce Carol Oates was born June 16, 1938. So, as is our custom here at The Bibliophile’s Adventurers Club, a few words from the birthday girl:

I never change, I simply become more myself.”

If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or donig housework, you can still be writing, because you have that space.”

If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?”

When poets write about food it is usually celebratory. Food as the thing-initself, but also the thoughtful preparation of meals, the serving of meals, meals communally shared: a sense of the sacred in the profane.”

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

Life and people are complex. A writer as an artist doesn’t have the personality of a politician. We don’t see the world that simply.”

It makes me angry sometimes, it’s a visceral thing–how you come to despise your own words in your ears not because they aren’t genuine, but because they are; because you’ve said them so many times, your ‘principles,’ your ‘ideals’–and so damned little in the world has changed because of them.”

A daydreamer is prepared for most things.”

Where we come from in America no longer signifies. It’s where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are.”

See, people come into your life for a reason. They might not know it themselves, why. You might not know it. But there’s a reason. There has to be.”

When you’re 50 you start thinking about things you haven’t thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity — but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.”

Every scar in my face is worth it.”

My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.”

These are the moments for which we live.”