Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. She has been one of the leading U.S. novelists since the 1960’s and is extremely prolific, having published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. She won the National Book Award, and three of her novels have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. 
In 2007 she was presented with the Humanist of the Year award at the 66th Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association in Portland, Oregon. She gave an acceptance speech, followed by a Q&A and stated the following: "As a novelist I tend to be sympathetic with persons who are religious, though I can't share in their convictions. It has always been something of a mystery to me that intelligent, educated men and women--as well as the uneducated--can 'have faith' in an invisible and nonexistent God."