Distinguished author speaks at Mt. Lebanon Library event
Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates visited Mt. Lebanon for the fourth annual library speaker series formed to continue honoring the memory of Joseph Wertheim, a longtime volunteer and ambassador for the library before his death in August 2012.
Oates, who has published many books and bestselling novels, is also known for her collections of short fiction, essays, plays, poetry and a recent memoir.
“I like to show how people get through reality and the strong resilience of the human spirit,” Oates said about much of her work that has been included on the New York Times list of notable books of the year.
She also has won two O. Henry Prizes and two Bram Stoker Awards, along with the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, World Fantasy Award and the M.L. Rosenthal Award.
During her April 18 talk with hundreds from Mt. Lebanon and the surrounding area that gathered in the Mellon Middle School auditorium, Oates discussed her newest novel, “A Book of American Martyrs.”
“I have sympathy for all of the characters,” she said about her novel; a story of two families who do not live very far apart, but exist in different realities.
Oates then opened the floor for questions, an all too familiar routine with her fiction workshops at Princeton University, NYU and the University of California, Berkley, where she picks reading material for students to have a concept of varying time periods.
“Storytelling is much different in the 21st century than the 19th century,” she said.