When her husband, Ray Smith, died three years ago, Joyce Carol Oates experienced both intense emotional pain and physical exhaustion. She describes herself as "a raw stump of bleeding flesh." Unable to sleep, she spent the night keeping a journal of her day to day thoughts and experiences. A Widow's Story (Harper Collins) is an assemblage of those journal entries. In this conversation, as we explore the memoir, she describes how she "impersonated herself" and how she eventually became a person she never imagined she would be.
Joyce Carol Oates