Soul at the White Heat: Inspiration, Obsession, and the Writing Life

Hardcover | September 20, 2016

byJoyce Carol Oates

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A new collection of critical and personal essays on writing, obsession, and inspiration from National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates.

"Why do we write?"

With this question, Joyce Carol Oates begins an imaginative exploration of the writing life, and all its attendant anxieties, joys, and futilities, in this collection of seminal essays and criticism. Leading her quest is a desire to understand the source of the writer’s inspiration—do subjects haunt those that might bring them back to life until the writer submits? Or does something "happen" to us, a sudden ignition of a burning flame? Can the appearance of a muse-like Other bring about a writer’s best work?

In Soul at the White Heat, Oates deploys her keenest critical faculties, conjuring contemporary and past voices whose work she deftly and creatively dissects for clues to these elusive questions. Virginia Woolf, John Updike, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, J. M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Joan Didion, Zadie Smith, and many others appear as predecessors and peers—material through which Oates sifts in acting as literary detective, philosopher, and student. The book is at its most thrilling when watching the writer herself at work, and Oates provides rare insight into her own process, in candid, self-aware dispatches from the author’s own writing room. The New York Times Book Review has raved, "who better than Joyce Carol Oates . . . to explicate the craft of writing?" Longtime admirers of Joyce Carol Oates’s novels as well as her prose will discover much to be inspired by and obsess upon themselves in this inventive collection from an American master.

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From the Publisher

A new collection of critical and personal essays on writing, obsession, and inspiration from National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates."Why do we write?"With this question, Joyce Carol Oates begins an imaginative exploration of the writing life, and all its attendant anxieties, joys, and futili...

Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938 in Lockport, New York. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Syracuse University and a master's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of numerous novels and collections of short stories. Her works include We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, Bellefleur, Yo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:September 20, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062564501

ISBN - 13:9780062564504

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