"To be Jewish is to be specifically identified with a history. And if you're not aware of that when you're a child, the whole tradition is lost."
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."Joyce Carol Oates on Confucius
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."Joyce Carol Oates on Abraham Lincoln
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."Joyce Carol Oates on Mahatma Gandhi
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."Joyce Carol Oates on Franklin D. Roosevelt
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."Joyce Carol Oates on Thomas Jefferson
"Probably nothing serious or worthwhile can be accomplished without one's willingness to be alone for sustained periods of time, which is not to say that one must live alone, obsessively."
"If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space."
"Anyone who teaches knows that you don't really experience a text until you've taught it, in loving detail, with an intelligent and responsive class."
"Yes, I've listened to just a few audiobooks - but hope to listen to more. I've wanted to investigate how my own books sound in this format and find the experience of listening, and not reading, quite fascinating."
"If food is poetry, is not poetry also food?"