June 8, 2007
On Friday, June 8, Joyce Carol Oates, the prolific award-winning writer, will be named the 2007 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. The award will be presented at the Association’s 66th Annual Conference, being held June 7-10 in Portland, Oregon. The award ceremony will begin at 8:00 PM on June 8.
“Oates has long been recognized as a giant of literature,” said Roy Speckhardt, the Association’s executive director. “And now we’re thrilled to formally honor her humanistic endeavors. Ms. Oates’s work reflects a deep respect for humanist values and expresses a devotion to humanistic social change.”
Oates was born in 1938 in Lockport, New York. She is the author of over 70 novels, short story collections, literary criticism, essays, poetry volumes and plays. She is Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of English at Princeton University, where she teaches creative writing. She is also associate editor of the literary magazine, The Ontario Review.
“Oates has strong humanist credentials,” Speckhardt continued. “In particular, she has been outspoken in her feminism, often pointing out the bias in society against women and bringing attention to the challenges female writers face. She serves as an inspiration to all who struggle to be appreciated on their individual worth, rather than their sex.”
Oates is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamund Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She also has been nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her most recent book, The Gravedigger’s Daughter, was released in late May.
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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) is the oldest and largest Humanist organization in the nation. The AHA is dedicated to ensuring a voice for those with a positive outlook, based on reason and experience, which embraces all of humanity.