Re: the characterization of Joyce Carol Oates in the March 6 issue (“her sometimes-frosty demeanor at the many talks and book signings she does”): Can you have watched Joyce Oates at readings and book signings? I have seen her in talks from Shrewsbury, N.J., to Santa Fe, N.M., and at Rutgers (at least twice). I marveled at the generosity of attention she gave to those in the audience who had come — many from long distances — to hear and meet her. Her genuine warmth was always in evidence, especially in the interest she takes in younger members of the audience.
Whatever characterizations apply to Joyce Carol Oates, “sometimes-frosty demeanor” toward the public never will be one of them. Princeton and New Jersey, not to mention the nation, are in her debt for novels that have chronicled the ways we live.
To (mis)characterize Joyce Oates in the way the author did is a gratuitous insult unbefitting PAW and surely unbefitting a faculty member whose teaching and writing have distinguished the University for more than three decades. You owe her an apology.