Oates's chapter introductions and afterword on the writing workshop offer students encouragement, advice, and exercises for honing their skills. As a teacher, Oates emphasizes the importance of reading widely with enthusiasm, pleasure, and purpose. Telling Stories reflects this emphasis, introducing students to a variety of models for their own writing and encouraging them to concentrate on details, revise often, make material their own, experiment with genre, and ultimately find their own voice. Edited by a contemporary master of the storyteller's art who defines herself primarily as a friend of the text and a friend of the writer, Telling Stories is the perfect anthology for creative writing workshops and fiction classes and a wellspring of inspiration for any beginning writer. The love of storytelling-to hear stories, and to tell them-is universal in our species. Those with an apparent talent for writing...are t of a special breed but simply mirror the common human desire. [If] you have a natural talent for writing, and a love of the imagination, you risk a lifelong deprivation if you fail to cultivate it as vigorously as you can. Write your own 'great American vel'...you're talented, you're intelligent, you have the driving passion, and you kw as much as anyone about American life. Your story belongs uniquely to you. -Joyce Carol Oates, from the Introduction
Joyce Carol Oates is one of our most important and well known writers-and one of America's foremost writers of the short story form. She is also a regular contributor of reviews and criticism for the New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. She also reads and lectures widely throughout the US, at universities and bookstores.