Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart

By Joyce Carol Oates

Original Publisher: Dutton

Current Publisher: Plume

Fiction Finalists That Year:
  • Felipe Alfau for Chromos
  • Elena Castedo for Paradise
  • Jessica Hagedorn for Dogeaters
  • Joyce Carol Oates for Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart 

Fiction Winner That Year: Charles Johnson for Middle Passage

Fiction Judges That Year: William Gass, Phillip Lopate, Terry McMillan, Paul West

The Year in Literature:

  • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
  • Octavio Paz won the Nobel Prize for literature. 

More Information: Oates won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1970 for them. She was also a Fiction Finalist four other times: in 1968 for A Garden of Earthly Delights, in 1969 for Expensive People, in 1972 for Wonderland, and in 2000 for Blonde.


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