A couple of weeks ago, we uncovered a gem in our archive – 1956 Scholastic Writing Award winner Joyce Carol Oates’s winning short story which was featured in Scholastic’s Literary Cavalcade magazine in 1957! Oates wrote A Dawn You’ll Never See during her senior year at Williamsville South High School in Williamsville, NY.
While it is difficult to clearly read all the words in the aged copy that we have, we were able to decipher Oates’s remarks about her piece in the “Caval-comment” discussion following the story: “The story concerns itself with the themes of halted disillusionment, of belief that produces a sort of mental block against itself – causing people to live in the past to be unable to accept the present, to have no concept of the future. ” She also lists “modern art, basketball, and philosophy” as some of her other interests in the 1957 issue.
Following high school, Oates attended Syracuse University on a scholarship and graduated in 1960 as class valedictorian with a degree in English. She received her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison the following year.
Oates’ work has earned many awards. Her literary honors include the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the National Book Award for her novel Them, and The Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award. She is currently the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University, where she has been teaching since 1978.
We feel honored that such a successful writer is part of our alumni!