Joyce Carol Oates is one of America's most prolific and respected authors. She has distinguished herself in the academic world as teacher and critic, while earning a fortune as the author of best-selling novels in a wide range of genres, from the family chronicle to the historical novel, the gothic horror story and the suspense novel. Her work has been distinguished from the beginning by a keen, unflinching interest in the nature of evil and the sources of violence in American life. She won acclaim early in her career, receiving the National Book Award in 1970 for the novel "them." She has now written over 50 novels and more than 30 collections of short stories, as well as nonfiction works on literary subjects ranging from the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the fiction of Dostoyevsky and James Joyce, to such non-literary subjects as the painter George Bellows and the boxer Mike Tyson. In 1996, Joyce Carol Oates was honored by the international writers' association PEN with its Malamud award, presented for "a lifetime of literary achievement." The following year, she addressed the Academy of Achievement at its gathering in Baltimore, Maryland. In this podcast, recorded on that occasion, she traces her concerns as a writer to her earliest memories, and to her childhood in a farming community in Upstate New York. Today, Joyce Carol Oates continues to live and write in Princeton, New Jersey, where she is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University.