YouTube continues to impress and amaze me. The service makes it possible for all of us to enjoy things like this Joyce Carol Oates appearance no matter where we live. This reading took place in Boston, a city I haven't visited in two decades, but thanks to YouTube and Forum Network, I feel like I was there (and I suspect that I had a better view than those who saw the event live).
This is the keynote address at the Boston Book Festival, on October 15, 2010, during which Ms. Oates reads "Pumpkin Head," one of the short stories from her latest story collection, Sourland. After the reading, Ms. Oates engages in "conversation" with an interviewer and takes questions from the audience.
I have not read Sourland yet but, from what Ms. Oates says in her introduction to the reading, it appears that many of the stories in the book share the common theme of sudden widowhood that she so frankly addresses in her recent memoir, A Widow's Life.