Consider the force of nature that is Joyce Carol Oates
— but pull up a chair first. You'll need that item because even the most cursory look at this writer's staggering output can induce exhaustion. Oates is a one-woman writing factory whose industry and versatility should boggle any lesser mortal's mind. She's published more than 50 novels of the widest possible variety of themes and styles, 30-plus collections of short stories, plays, essays, countless book reviews, nonfiction studies of writers, painters, boxers and the gothic and horror genres — oh, stop; where's that chair? Her just-published book, A Widow's Story
, recounts the sudden death in 2008 of her husband of 46 years, Raymond Smith, and the harrowing new reality of her widowhood. Memoirs about coping with bereavement and emptiness are pretty populous these days; expect Joyce Carol Oates' account to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. You can meet this great American author, purchase her new book and have it signed tonight at 7 p.m. at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or www.slcl.org
). The free event inaugurates the 2011 season of Read St. Louis, and doors open at 6 p.m.
Fri., March 4, 2011