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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

Cathleen Schine

1. Emma by Jane Austen (1816).
2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855–91).
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
4. Phineas Finn: The Irish Member by Anthony Trollope (1869).
5. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1864–65).
6. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (1977).
7. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
8. The stories of  Alice Munro (1931– ).
9. The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943–48).
10. Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell (1954).

Classic List

George Saunders

1. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842).
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
4. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759–67).
5. Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1600).
6. The stories of Isaac Babel (1894–1940).
7. The stories of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
8. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969).
9. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1953).
10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957).