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Falls never far for Joyce Carol Oates

Lockport native and prize-wining author Joyce Carol Oates has lived in New Jersey for more than three decades, but she's never left Niagara County far behind.

Her fiction -- including the novel "The Falls" -- has included traces of Niagara. An essay in which she describes her vivid memories of growing up in Lockport appeared this month in The Buffalo News.

This week, in an interview with Deborah Treisman, the New Yorker's fiction editor, Oates compares the Falls to Atlantic City. The interview was posted on the New Yorker blog "The Book Bench."

"I think of Atlantic City and Niagara Falls in more or less the same way: as exemplary American cities with distinctive, even romantic histories, that have in recent decades fallen upon hard economic times and become dependent upon casino gambling for some sort of financial redemption," Oates told Treisman.

The interview describes Oates' short story, "I.D.," which appears in this week's New Yorker.

The story -- which Oates told Treisman "could have readily have been set in Niagara Falls" -- involves a murdered woman in Atlantic City.

Read the entire Oates interview here.

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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