Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finalists for Literary Peace Prize

The finalists for this year's Dayton Literary Peace Prize have just been announced. The winners will be honored in a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 13th.

Here are the finalists for fiction:
  • The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead)
  • How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu (Riverhead)
  • Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (Norton)
  • The Gendarme by Mark Mustian (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam)
  • Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne (HarperCollins) [Note that Kapitoil is one of twenty books available in Google eBook form for only 99 cents until the end of August through our website.]
Here are the finalists for nonfiction:
  • Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 by Kai Bird (Scribner)
  • Little Princes by Conor Grennan (HarperCollins)
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House)
  • For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question by Mac McClelland (Soft Skull Press)
  • In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance by Wilbert Rideau (Knopf)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House)
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.

Last year's winners were Marlon James for The Book of Night Women, a novel exploring the history of slavery in Jamaica in the eighteenth century, and Dave Eggers for Zeitoun, his eye-opening true story of the experiences of one family in New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Past winners are Richard Bausch, Benjamin Skinner, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, Brad Kessler, Mark Kurlansky, Francine Prose, and Stephen Walker.

An annual lifetime achievement award is also bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission. This year's honoree is Barbara Kingsolver, who will receive the first-ever Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. The award, formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, was renamed in honor of the late Richard C. Holbrooke, the celebrated US diplomat who played an instrumental role in negotiating the historic 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia. The award will be presented to Kingsolver at the November ceremony by journalist Kati Marton, Holbrooke’s widow. Previous honorees include Studs Terkel, Elie Wiesel, Taylor Branch, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and Geraldine Brooks.

You can find links to all of this year's finalists as well as last year's winners on our website.

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