Tag: joyce carol oates


10 Famous Authors Who Were Born in June

It’s finally June; the first month where it really starts to feel like summer! Now is the perfect time to grab your favorite book, pop on over to the nearest park, take root under a tree, and read while you soak up the sun.


And, what better way to celebrate the month of June than with the works of an author born this very month? Let’s say happy birthday to these ten Geminis and Cancers!



Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840)


Thomas Hardy

via Famous People


Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.



Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926)


Allen Ginsberg

via My Jewish Learning


Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.



Nikki Giovanni (June 7, 1943)


Nikki Giovanni

via NBC4


There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.


Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928)


Maurice Sendak

via Newsweek


Why my needle is stuck in childhood, I don’t know. I guess that’s where my heart is.


Anne Frank (June 12, 1929)


Anne Frank

via innomag

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.


William Butler Yeats (June 13, 1865)



via Wikimedia Commons

Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire.


Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938)


Joyce Carol Oates

via Lafayette Library and Learning Center


We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.


Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947)


Octavia E. Butler

via CNN


I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.


George Orwell (June 25, 1903)


George Orwell

via Countercurrents


The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712)


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

via Wikipedia


Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.




Featured Image via Tumblr

Margaret Atwood Playboy

14 Iconic Authors Bare It All in Playboy Without Taking Their Clothes Off

Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying the effect Hefner’s work has had on both the literary and publishing worlds. In memoriam of Hugh Hefner’s life and career, we’ve put together a list of some of the most notable authors and interviews published in Playboy to prove that yes, some people really do read it for the articles. 


Margaret Atwood Playboy

I had so much fun making the featured image that I couldn’t not also make a full cover. Enjoy. / Image Via The New Yorker, Photoshopped by yours truly.


If you’ve got a subscription to Playboy, be sure to check out the Playboy Archive for digital copies of magazines ranging from 1954 to 2007.


1. An Interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Image via Wikipedia


In 1964, just after he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat down with Alex Haley for a series of interviews, which were then edited together for the magazine’s January 1965 issue. The interview is the longest interview King gave to a publication. Ever. King speaks of his observations of the Civil Rights Movement (at that point) and the first time he remembered experiencing racism. He was forced to stand on a bus, not too dissimilar to Rosa Parks’ story, which later inspired him to stage a bus boycott. 


2.  Haruki Murakami, author of Norwegian Wood


Haruki Murakami

Image via Time Magazine


Japan’s most popular author and one of the “world’s greatest living novelists”, Haruki Murakami has written bangers like Norwegian Wood, 1Q84, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and Kafka on the Shore. ‘The Second Bakery Attack‘, first published in 1992, was later published in a collection of short stories called The Elephant Vanishes: Stories.


3. Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse-Five


Kurt Vonnegut

Image via Wikipedia


Vonnegut first appeared in Playboy in a 1973 interview. Most notably, though, the magazine was the first to publish an excerpt from Armageddon in Retrospect, Vonnegut’s first posthumous collection. The collection features several new short stories, a letter Vonnegut wrote to his family during his time as a prisoner of war in World War II, drawings, and a speech written shortly before his death.


4. Jack Kerouac, author of On the Road


Jack Kerouac

Image via CMG Worldwide


Playboy published two of Kerouac’s stories during his lifetime: Before the Road, a short story prequel to On the Road published in 1959, and 1965’s Good Blonde.


5. Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451


Ray Bradbury

Image via Wikipedia


During the first years of Playboy’s life their budget only allowed for reprinted stories, and in 1954 they published a serialized version of Fahrenheit 451. ‘The First Night of Lent’, Bradbury’s first original story for the publication in 1956, was among the first previously unpublished stories the magazine sent to print.


6. Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale.


Margaret Atwood

Image via The New Yorker


Atwood’s first foray into Playboy was in 1991 with the publication of ‘The Bog Man’. ‘The Bog Man’ recounts the discovery of a 2,000 year old man during a trip between a Canadian student and the married archaeology professor she is in love with. Atwood’s other works published in Playboy include The Bad News (2006) and The Age of the Bottleneck (2008).


7. Gabriel García Márquez, author of Love in the Time of Cholera


Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Image via Inspire Portal


Published in 1971, Marquez’s short story ‘The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World‘ is about a ridiculously handsome dead body that washes up onto shore and enchants an entire village. If you’re unfamiliar with Marquez’s work, I absolutely recommend A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings.


8. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels


Ian Fleming

Image via Ian Fleming


According to John Cork, founding member of the Ian Fleming Foundation, “by 1960 Ian Fleming, James Bond, and Playboy magazine became a nearly synonymous cultural force, truly united with Playboy‘s publication of [Fleming’s story] The Hildebrand Rarity.” Fleming’s 11th book, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was published simultaneously as a hardcover in Britain and serialized in Playboy from April to June 1963.


9. Roald Dahl, author of The BFG, The Witches, and many others


Roald Dahl

Image via Penguin Books


Dahl’s only non-children’s book, My Uncle Oswald, was based on ‘The Visitor’, a story written for and published in Playboy in May of 1965. You wouldn’t think a beloved children’s author would fit in with the publication but Dahl describes main character Oswald as “the greatest fornicator of all time”, so. Dahl’s first original story for Playboy was ‘A Fine Son’, published in 1959.


10. Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22


Joseph Heller

Image via Biography.com


Heller refers to his short story ‘Yossarian Survives’ (published in Playboy in 1987) as a lost chapter of Catch-22. The story describes Yossarian’s training at Lowry Field Air Force base in Denver, Colorado. Fans interested in reading this ‘lost chapter’ can find it in Catch As Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings.


11. Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club


Chuck Palahniuk

Image via Chuck Palahniuk


Palahniuk is no stranger to getting published in Playboy, but I’m including him for a reason very close-to-home. When I was twelve-years-old, rifling through my best friend’s stepfather’s magazines, I found what would eventually become one of my favorite short stories. Palahniuk’s controversial short story ‘Guts was first published in the March 2004 issue of Playboy. ‘Guts’ is part of Palahniuk’s short story collection Haunted: A Novel.


12. Hunter S. Thompson, father of Gonzo journalism


Hunter S. Thompson

Image via Rolling Stone 


The Great Shark Hunt graced Playboy‘s pages in 1973 and was later published in a book of autobiographical essays of the same name. Over his career, Thompson’s work appeared in Playboy on a number of occasions.


13. Truman Capote, author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories.


Truman Capote

Image via Mom Advice


In the January 1984 issue of Playboy, Capote retold some of the most outrageous stories from friend and playwright Tennessee Williams’s life. It wasn’t the first time Capote was featured in the magazine. He was also the subject of a 1968 interview about his writing career, the role of Jewish writers in the American literary scene, and his views on capital punishment.


14. An Interview with Joyce Carol Oates, author of 56 novels, and a lot more.


Joyce Carol Oates

Image via Lewis Center for the Arts


The 1993 interview calls Oates:


one of the most prolific writers in America. Her critics even complain that she writes too much. She has written more novels than Nobel laureate Saul Bello, more short story collections than John Updike, more books of essays than Norman Mailer, more words of poetry than Emily Dickinson and more plays than Chekhov. Critic Harold Bloom considers her “our true proletarian novelist.”


Featured image via The New Yorker, improved via my own photoshop abilities.

Toni Morrison dressed in brown, looking at camera smiling.

5 Women Writers We Want On Our Banknotes

Britain have just unveiled their £10 note featuring the wonderful Jane Austen, who, 200 years after her death, is still charming readers worldwide. We’ve put together a list of the top five literary ladies we’d love to see grace the faces of America’s banknotes!


1. Dr. Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison

Image Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica 


Pioneer author and activist Toni Morrison is first on our list. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Morrison is an icon, an expert in her field, and one of America’s most revered writers. 


Born on February 18, 1931, in Ohio, her novels, including ‘Sula,’ ‘Jazz’ and ‘Beloved,’ are known for their depictions of race and racism, and their multi-layered, richly drawn African American characters.


Morrison frequently speaks and writes about issues of race in contemporary America, condemning police brutality and the election of President Donald Trump, who is supported by many white supremacist groups. 


2. Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson

Image Courtesy of Poets.org


Arguably the most important American poet of the 19th century, Dickinson was born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was quite reclusive, spending most of her time with her family. Few people passed through her life, but those who did were the subjects of much of her poetry.


She also wrote extensively on abstract themes such as grief, hope, and nature. Dickinson wrote over 1,900 poems in her fifty-six years–all neatly written in handmade paper booklets–in her idiosyncratic style, featuring many dashes of varied length and inconsistent capitalization.


Her volumes of poetry were only discovered by her family after her death in 1886.


3. Dr. Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou

Image Courtesy of NNDB


Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928, Angelou is best known for seven autobiographical books. But Angelou was also a poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist.


In 1959, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. requested she become the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1974 she was appointed by Gerald Ford to the Bicentennial Commission and later by Jimmy Carter to the Commission for International Woman of the Year.  Angelou performed at the inauguration for President Bill Clinton in 1993. In 2000, she received the National Medal of Arts, and in 2010 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


She was also first black woman director in Hollywood, writing, producing, directing and starring in productions for stage, film, and television.  She also wrote and produced several prize-winning documentaries, and was nominated for a Tony award for acting twice.


Angelou died on May 28, 2014, in North Carolina, where she had served as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University since 1982. 


4. Joyce Carol Oates


Joyce Carol Oates wearing classes and looking at camera

Image Courtesy of Huffington Post


Oates was born in Lockport, New York in 1938 and has published over 40 novels, in addition to plays and novellas, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction and is one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century.


She has won a number of awards including Norman Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award and the PEN/Malamud Award.


Many authors cite her as an influence, notably Jonathan Safran Foer, whom she taught at Princeton and for whom she served as senior thesis adviser to any early draft of what would become his celebrated novel ‘Everything is Illuminated.’


5. Esmerelda Santiago


Esmerelda Santiago

Image Courtesy of Pinterest 


Born in 1948 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Esmerelda Santiago moved to the United States at thirteen. She is the author of several books, both novels and memoirs, having come to writing through the creation of documentary and educational films. 


She is a spokesperson for public libraries and has developed community-based programs for adolescents, as well as founding a women’s shelter. She serves on the boards of organizations devoted to the arts and to literature. Santiago earned a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and Honorary Doctor of Letters from Trinity College, from Pace University and University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.


Featured Image Courtesy of Buzzworthy