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CELEBRATING THE POWER OF LITERATURE TO PROMOTE PEACE,

DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE ANNOUNCES 2014 FINALISTS

Finalists include Alice McDermott, Bob Shacochis, Jesmyn Ward, David Finkel;
winners to be honored at gala Dayton ceremony on November 9th

Dayton, OH (September 4, 2014) – Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced the finalists for the 2014 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, social justice, and global understanding.

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

"Literature can be seen as a way of exercising our empathy muscles, and this year's finalists all leave the reader with a deeper sense of compassion," said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “Each work encourages us to see the world through the eyes of others, whether they be contemporary Americans, or a child in a war zone, or a 19th-century slave.”

The 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are

  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Crown Publishing Group): Two doctors in rural Chechnya risk everything to save the life of a child hunted by Russian soldiers in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together.
  • In the Night of Time by Antonio Muñoz Molina, translated by Edith Grossman (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt): This sweeping, grand novel set against the tumultuous events that led to the Spanish Civil War offers an indelible portrait of a shattered society.
  • Someone by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): In this delicate narrative about the life of an ordinary woman, McDermott uses universal experiences—sharp pains and unexpected joys, bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—to deftly arouse deep compassion for the lives unfolding all around us.
  • The Cartographer of No Man’s Land by P.S. Duffy (Liveright Publishing Corporation): This haunting meditation on family, friendship, and sacrifice charts a deeply felt course from the Nova Scotia coastline to the French trenches during World War I, bridging the distance between past and present, duty and honor, obligation and love.
  • The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Grove Atlantic): Renowned for his revelatory visions of the Caribbean, Shacochis sets his magnum opus in four countries over a span of fifty years and multiple wars, creating an intricate portrait of the catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the U.S. as it is today.
  • Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Grove Atlantic): Through the character of Wash, a first-generation slave, this haunting first novel explores the often-buried history of slave breeding in the early nineteenth century, offering fresh insights into our continuing racial dilemmas.

The 2014 nonfiction finalists are

  • Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe by Jo Roberts (Dundurn Press, Toronto): Drawing on extensive original interview material, Canadian journalist Jo Roberts vividly examines how their tangled histories of suffering inform Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives today, and frame the possibilities for peace in Israel.
  • Here on the Edge: How a Small Group of WWII Conscientious Objectors Took Art and Peace from the Margins to the Mainstream by Steve McQuiddy (Oregon State University Press): Packed with original research and more than eighty photos, this definitive history tells the story of the artists at an Oregon camp for World War II conscientious objectors, and how they paved the way for the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
  • Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster): Pondering the medical forces that stood in the way of her own parents’ desires for “good deaths,” journalist Katy Butler examines modern medicine's potential, in its pursuit of maximum longevity, to create more suffering than it prevents.
  • Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury): In this universally acclaimed memoir, Ward recounts the separate deaths of five young men – all dear to her – from her small Mississippi community, agonizingly tracing each one back to the long-term effects of racism and economic disadvantage.
  • Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel (Sarah Crichton Book/Farrar, Strauss and Giroux): Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel follows veterans of the infamous Baghdad “surge” after they return to the U.S., creating an indelible, essential portrait of post-deployment life—not just for the soldiers, but for their families, friends, and the professionals trying to undo the damage of war.
  • Your Fatwa Does not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune (W.W. Norton & Company): From Karachi to Tunis, Kabul to Tehran, Bennoune shares the inspiring stories of the Muslim writers, artists, doctors, lawyers, activists, and educators who often risk death to combat the rising tide of religious extremism in their own countries.

A winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on September 24th. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000. They will be honored at a gala ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton on Sunday, November 9th.

Organizers announced in July that author Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine, The Round House, The Plague of Doves) will be the recipient of the 2014 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the Dayton Peace Accords. Previous winners include Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009), Geraldine Brooks (2010), Barbara Kingsolver (2011), Tim O'Brien (2012), and Wendell Berry (2013).

Finalists will be reviewed by prominent writers including Faith Adiele, Michelle Latiolais, Lee Martin, Rubén Martínez, and Maureen McCoy.

To be eligible for the 2014 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2013 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or between nations, religions, or ethnic groups.

About the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Click here to visit our website 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. Additionally, the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission; previous honorees include Wendell Berry, Taylor Branch, Geraldine Brooks, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Tim O'Brien, Studs Terkel, and Elie Wiesel. For more information visit the Dayton Literary Peace Prize media center at http://daytonliterarypeaceprize.org/press.htm.

Press release in PDF format.

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Promoting Peace and Literacy Around the World

Dayton Literary Peace Prize, P. O. Box 461, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, OH 45409-0461
Tel: (937) 298-5072   ::   Email: sharon.rab@daytonliterarypeaceprize.org
 
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