A release from the Tribune said that the author of more than 70 books is to receive her award Nov. 5 at the Symphony Center, marking only the fifth time an author has been recognized by the paper for their contributions to the literary world.
"She has a great eye for contemporary culture," said Tribune Editor Ann Marie Lipinski of Oates. "She's joyfully readable -- reading her is fun and exciting -- and she's got this very unusual range, from profoundly violent and somber to laugh-out-loud funny."
Joining Oates at the November ceremony will be authors Louise Erdrich and Taylor Branch, who are to be given the paper's 2006 Heartland Prizes for their fiction and nonfiction works, respectively.
The release said that while Erdrich will be recognized for her tale of an enchanted drum in "The Painted Drum," Branch will take home his Heartland award for the final book in his civil rights trilogy, "At Canaan's Edge."