Tuesday, September 21, 2010



Winners to be honored at gala Dayton ceremony on November 7th

Dayton, OH (September 1, 2010) – Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced the twelve finalists for the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. The Prize celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, nonviolent conflict resolution, and global understanding.

The shortlist includes works by best-selling authors (Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson), first-time novelists (The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim), and Booker Prize-winning authors (The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe)

The 2010 finalists also explore a diverse range of challenging issues ranging from cultural dislocation (A Good Fall by Ha Jin) to famine (Enough: Why the World’s Poor Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman) to the impact of war crimes and mass murder (Tears in the Darkness by Michael and Elizabeth Norman, A Postcard from the Volcano by Lucy Beckett) and are set in locations around the world, including Nigeria (The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adiche), Jamaica (The Book of Night Women by Marlon James), Kashmir (In the Valley of the Mist by Justine Hardy), and Ethiopia (Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese),

The full list of finalists can be found below and at: www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.

A winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on September 22nd. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000.00. They will be honored at a gala ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton on Sunday, November 7th.

The committee previously announced that historical novelist Geraldine Brooks (March, Year of Wonders, People of the Book) will be the recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, a distinction she shares with Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), and Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009).

"This year’s finalists help readers to see pressing global issues through the eyes of individuals whose lives are immediately affected by the larger forces around them," said Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “While challenging us to confront difficult and painful truths, each work, in its own way, is ultimately hopeful, offering the reader powerful insight into the resilience of the human spirit.”

The 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are:

-          A Postcard from the Volcano by Lucy Beckett (Ignatius Press): Beginning in 1914 and ending on the eve of World War II, this epic coming-of-age story follows a Prussian aristocrat as he confronts the ideologies that threaten the annihilation of millions of people.

-          A Good Fall by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books): In this stark and insightful collection, acclaimed writer Ha Jin depicts the struggle of Chinese immigrants in America to remain loyal to their traditions as they explore the freedom that life in a new country offers.

-          Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Knopf): A young Ethiopian doctor is forced to flee revolution in his homeland for New York City in this enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

-          The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (Penguin Group; G. P. Putham's Sons/Riverhead Books): Born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century, a woman with dark, mysterious powers finds herself at the heart of a slave revolt plotted by the women around her.

-          The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim (Henry Holt and Company): In early-twentieth-century Korea, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher struggles to choose her own destiny while her country crumbles under Japanese occupation.

-          The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adiche (Knopf): Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie turns her penetrating eye on both her native country and America in twelve dazzling stories that explore the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.

The 2010 nonfiction finalists are:

-          Enough: Why the Worlds Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman (Public Affairs):  This powerful investigative narrative shows exactly how, in the past few decades, American, British, and European policies have conspired to keep Africa hungry and unable to feed itself.

-          In the Valley of the Mist by Justine Hardy (Free Press): A personal, moving, and vibrant picture of the Kashmir Valley, one of the most beautiful and troubled places in the world -- described through the experiences of one family, whose fortunes have changed dramatically with those of the region.

-          Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson (Penguin Group, USA): From the author of the #1 bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian’s efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan through education.

-          Tears in the Darkness by Michael and Elizabeth Norman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): Using the perspective of a young American soldier, this account of World War II’s Bataan death march exposes the myths of war and shows the extent of suffering and loss on both sides.

-          The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe (Knopf): From the celebrated author of Things Fall Apart, a new collection of autobiographical essays—his first new book in more than twenty years

-          Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's): The meticulously researched story of a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four who chose to stay in New Orleans through Hurricane Katrina and protect his house and business—but then abruptly disappeared.

Finalists will be reviewed by a panel of prominent writers including Ken McClane, Cullen Murphy, Katherine Vaz, and Nancy Zafris.

To be eligible for the 2010 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2009 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or among nations, religions, or ethnic groups.

About the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
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 has already established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors, and 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. An annual lifetime achievement award is also bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission; previous honorees include Studs Terkel, Elie Wiesel, Taylor Branch, Nicholas Kristof, and Sheryl WuDunn.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any form of compensation for this post.

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