Joyce Carol Oates Under Fire for Story About College Student's Disappearance

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Oates's fictional story, "Landfill," about a Michigan State student reported missing until he is found dead in a local landfill, is a lot like a real thing that happened at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) last spring--when a freshman was reported missing and then found dead in a local landfill. Oates, who teaches creative writing at Princeton, another New Jersey university, apologized this week for any harm caused by the similarity between her October 9 New Yorker story and the real-life facts, the Princetonian reports.

A former TCNJ faculty member had told Oates her story "can only add to the overwhelming pain the family [of the murdered student] has already suffered."