12 Comments

As I mentioned in a previous comment, I was raising six children on a farm on Tonawanda Creek while you were writing your heart out! I wish we had met back then; but I have met you in a way--through your wonderful stories. As I told my writing group, a little of ourself is in every story written, and you write it so magnificently. I love your memories because they are so much like my own.

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What a scrumptious piece! Thank you.

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May 5, 2023·edited May 5, 2023

Such a wonderful tribute and such vivid memories of your childhood. I enjoy reading about the places you grew up - very close to where I previously lived in North Amherst near Millersport and Transit Rd right on the Erie/Niagara County border. I also enjoy how you weave your intimate knowledge of this geographical area into many of your works of fiction. Loved your previous story about your father too! Thank you for taking us back to that time and place and sharing these personal memories with us. I'm presently enjoying Night Neon. "Detour" was so suspenseful and I shivered a chill throughout!

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I always love reading your memories of your childhood, which in some ways, geographically primarily, is somewhat parallel to my own, insofar as Western NY centered. I am so grateful that I met you in person, once long ago at Boston College, then a few (?) years ago in Brookline—Coolidge Corner Theater, where I accosted you coming off stage. You were so gracious to recognize me as “my twitter buddy” where I’ve been ever since as well. I just think maybe we could have been friends but for a couple of years in age and miles, and surely we passed each other going in and out of the library, or having ice cream nearby at Castles or down the block at the Royal, even at the Palace at a movie or way long ago for Saturday morning cartoons at the Rialto. Our fathers might have met at Harrison’s.

So thanks

Pat OBrien

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What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Joyce Carol Oates! She and your father must have been excellent parents to have fostered this gift of yours - to take us to a time and a place and make us feel that we are right there with you. You have been a main source of my special reading refuge since my college days and you are still here. How lovely that is!

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Rich piece to feast on, but I wouldn't expect less. I confess, I have only read one of your books, but I fell in love with it and will never, ever forget it: Because It iIs Bitter and Because It Is My Heart.

There is a power in at least one year of childhood which is somehow wonderful beyond mystery. Thank you for writing about yours.

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Thank you so much Ms Oates. Your story is of all who came through childhood unscarred in a certain era.

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I apologize for failing to copy edit. First time I've written here, and first time I've written to a novelist.

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Many years ago -- I' m 66, and I think I was in middle school --- I read " Where are you going, Where have you been ?" Such a powerful story. I realize the screenplay revised the ending. I wondered how you felt about that. Thinking about itge story again as I read about the death of Treat Williams, who I thought was excellent in the movie, along with Laura Dern and the rest of the cast. Seventy-one is too young.

Again, thank you for your work.

Christopher Turque

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Dear Ms. Oates, Your description of your early childhood was vivid and touching. Thank you for offering it to us here.

I've been thinking about writing to you for weeks, because I was deeply affected by your story, "The Bicycle Accident," in The New Yorker. It felt like a piercing documentary about parents who think thought they were doing the best they could -- and pretty much appeared to be doing that. But ty hey failed, horribly. Arkette couldn't come to terms with her attraction to Rob Nash. Nash's willingness --- eagerness -- to be an essential financiall lifeline for the family gav helped blind the parents to who he really was. Eavie sensed early on her parents' sick dependence on Nash, and it seemed to prevent her from That dependence blinded them to the need to protect their daughter.

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Your childhood on a farm was my dream. Thank you for sharing such vivid memories.

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Reading it, it reminds me of the time my wife was growing up on their own 'farm' (later lost on a 'card game' because of drunkenness) - according to what she tells about her own stories! Thank you for the "sharing!"

Dr Z

Provo, UT

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