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The Book: The Top Ten

Joyce Carol Oates's Top Ten List

For most writers, 25 short story collections would be three careers. For Joyce Carol Oates it’s just a notch on her heavyweight title belt as the World’s Most Prolific Literary Artist.

Her latest collection, “Black Dahlia & White Rose,” receives a mixed review in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. “The stories in this collection generally involve a combination of macabre events, fantastical turns and unguarded first-person storytelling,” writes critic Randy Boyagoda. “Throughout, Oates explores the rough fortunes of (mostly) women who think they’re in control of their situations but are inevitably proved wrong, sometimes brutally so.”

Listen to NPR’s review of Black Dahlia & White Rose.

Watch interviews with Joyce.
Visit Joyce’s website.
Read earlier New York Times coverage of Joyce.

Joyce Carol Oates’s Top Ten List

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866).
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).
  3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929).
  4. The poems of Emily Dickinson (1830–86).
  5. The stories of Franz Kafka (1883–1924).
  6. The Red and the Black by Stendhal (1830).
  7. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence (1915).
  8. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence (1920).
  9. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
  10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).

New List

Michael Chabon

1. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1964).
2.Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962).
3. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (1921).
4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813).
6. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1836–47).
7. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
8. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667).
9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (1985).
10. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953).

Classic List

Michael Cunningham

1. King Lear by William Shakespeare (1605).
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857).
3. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855–91).
4. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925).
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).
7. Dubliners by James Joyce (1916).
8. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930).
9. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898).
10. The stories of Flannery O’Connor (for their unerring narrative focus) (1925–64).

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