Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. She has won many awards for her writing, including the National Book Award, for her novel them (1969), two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal and the Jerusalem Prize (2019). Her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000) and short story collections The Wheel of Love (1970) and Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories (2014) were each finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.
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Betty Williams, a 1977 Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Northern Ireland, once witnessed the bombing death of Irish children, and a little girl died in Williams's arms. The girl's legs had been severed in the explosion and thrown across the street from where the woman held the bleeding child. Williams went home in shock and despair. Later, the full impact of what she'd seen jolted her awake. She stepped outside, screaming out in the middle of the night. She knocked on doors that might easily have opened with weapons pointed at her face and cried, "What kind of people have we become that we would allow children to be killed on our streets?" Within four hours the city was awake and there were sixteen thousand names on petitions for peace.