John Oakes co-founded the publishing company Four Walls Eight Windows, which was purchased by the Avalon Publishing Group. Among the authors he has published are Andrei Codrescu, Sue Coe, R. Crumb, Cory Doctorow, Andrea Dworkin, Abbie Hoffman, Gordon Lish, Harvey Pekar, Rudy Rucker, John Waters and Edmund White. Oakes is a former board member of PEN America. He has written for the Associated Press, the International Herald Tribune, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction. He is director of the New School Publishing Institute and publisher of The Evergreen Review.