The 7 Best Joyce Carol Oates Novels

With the release of Oates's newest collection, Beautiful Days, we're throwing it back to earlier faves.

joyce carol oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is one of those authors whose name you just know, not only because she’s a prodigious writer and you’ve likely read her work, but also because she’s very active on social media and has become a legend in the literary world. She’s an incredible novelist, short story writer, memoirist, and activist, and is also one of those prolific authors whose bibliography has its own Wikipedia page.

If you’ve never read Ms. Oates, we’ve picked seven of her best works that make a good starting place. And if you have, maybe you’ll think about revisiting old beloved titles or picking up one of her amazing books you haven’t yet read, like her latest short story collection, Beautiful Days.

Featured Image: Christopher Peterson/Splash News/Alamy Stock Photo

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About Ilana Masad

Ilana Masad

ILANA MASAD is an Israeli-American writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Printer’s Row, The Toast, The Butter, The Rumpus, Hypertext Magazine, and more. She is the founder of, a podcast for new, emerging, and struggling writers. She is (way too) active on Twitter @ilanaslightly.