Ask Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates speaking at Gleeson Library, University of San Francisco, in April of last year. Photo: Shawn Calhoun, CC some rights reserved

During the week of January 14, prolific, award-winning writer Joyce Carol Oates will be answering your questions about her novel, Mudwoman, which Betsy Kepes reviewed earlier this year.

So, here’s the deal:

  1. find a copy of Mudwoman, read it of course, then
  2. email your questions to or
  3. post your question as a comment in the reply section below

Your questions, and the author’s replies to them, will provide the basis for our online conversation about the novel.

There’s a regional connection in this book. As Betsy Kepes wrote recently:

“Joyce Carol Oates plays with geography in Mudwoman, beginning the story in fictional Beechum County, an Adirondack region that is the largest and least populated county in New York State.  Barely alive in the cold mud above the Black Snake River, a little girl is rescued by a young trapper and lives with a blue-collar foster family until a gentle Quaker couple adopt her. They live in the village of Carthage, relocated to the northwestern edge of Beechum County…An excellent student, she secretly applies to Cornell when her parents want her to stay in the North Country and become a teacher.”

Okay, now it’s up to you. This is a first for us at the NCPR Readers & Writers Book Club. Send us your questions no later than January 7 and we’ll make sure Joyce Carol Oates gets them.