Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Upstate, New York. She attended Syracuse University and graduated as Valedictorian. She then attended University of Wisconsin where she earned an M. A. By the time she was 47 years old, she had published at least that many separate books, including 16 full-length novels and more than a dozen collections of short stories. Some of her works were done under the pseudonym Rosamund Smith. She has also written numerous poems collected in several volumes, at least three plays, many critical essays, and articles and reviews on various subjects while fulfilling her obligations as a professor of English at the University of Windsor, where with her husband Raymond Smith she edited the Ontario Review, which the couple has continued since moving to Princeton in 1978. She has earned a reputation as indubitably one of our most prolific writers and very likely one of our best. Her fiction alone demonstrates considerable variety, ranging from direct naturalism to complex experiments in form. However, what chiefly makes her work her own is a quality of psychological realism, an uncanny ability to bring to the surface an underlying sense of foreboding or a threat of violence that seems to lurk just around the corner from the everyday domestic lives she depicts so realistically. Her first six novels, including Them (1969), which won the National Book Award, express these qualities in varying ways. she is also the recipient of an NEA grant, a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Lifetime Achievement Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature. Her title Give Me Your Heart made the New York Times Best seller list for 2011.
Desmond Tutu was born October 7, 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa. He attended Johannesburg Bantu High School. After leaving school he trained first as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal College and graduated in 1954 from the University of South Africa. After three years as a high school teacher he began to study theology, and was ordained as a priest in 1960. From 1962 to 1966 Tutu devoted his time to further theological study in England at King's College, eventually earning a Master's of Theology. From 1967 to 1972 he taught theology in South Africa before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a theological institute in London. In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1984 for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa. He was then elected Archbishop of Cape Town in April of 1986, the highest position in the South African Anglican Church. Tutu is also an honorary doctor of a number of universities in the USA, Britain and Germany.