2015 Dayton Literary
Peace Prize Finalists

Fiction

    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

    From the highly acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl Marie-Laure and a German boy Werner whose paths collide in occupied France as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
    Anthony Doerr by Isabelle Selby
    Anthony Doerr
     
    An Untamed State by Roxane Gay An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (Grove Atlantic)

    In An Untamed State, Roxane Gay delivers an assured debut with a story of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce, finally showing us how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places.
    Roxane Gay, photo credit Jay Grabiec
    Roxane Gay
     
    Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique (Riverhead)

    Chronicling three generations of the Bradshaw family in the Virgin Islands, Land of Love and Drowning weaves together stories of magic and lust, unknown connections and hidden mysteries, family legacies, and an island world undergoing historical changes.
    Tiphanie Yanique, photo (c) Debbie Grossman
    Tiphanie Yanique
     
    The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (Knopf)

    Henríquez seamlessly interweaves the story of two star-crossed lovers and their families with the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America in this novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love, offering a new definition of what it means to be American.
    Cristina Henriquez, photo Michael Lionstar
    Cristina Henriquez
     
    The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear (HarperCollins)

    Set before and during the Great War, this is a tale of love and war in which a most unexpected player—food—becomes the ultimate expression of love, sharing center stage with blood-soaked trenches, home-front deprivation and the changing roles of women. raising profound questions about conflict, belief, and love that echo in our own time.
    Jacqueline Winspear, photo Stephanie Mohan
    Jacqueline Winspear
     
    The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil (Grove Atlantic)

    This is an epic tragedy of brotherly love set against the dystopian backdrop of an alternative present-day Russia and swathed in all the magic of Russian folklore.
    Josh Weil, photo credit Jilan Carroll Glorfield
    Josh Weil
     

Nonfiction

    Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel and Grau)

    From one of the country's most visionary legal thinkers, social justice advocates, and MacArthur "geniuses," this is an intimate and unforgettable narrative journey into the broken American criminal justice system, an exquisitely rendered account of a heroic advocate's fights on behalf of the most powerless people in our society.
    Bryan Stevenson, photo credit Nina Subin
    Bryan Stevenson
     
    No Man's Land by Elizabeth D. Samet No Man's Land by Elizabeth D. Samet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    This book offers a moving, urgent examination of what it means to negotiate the tensions between soldier and civilian, between war and peace, between “over there” and “over here”—between life on the front and life at home.
    Elizabeth Samet, photo Bachrach
    Elizabeth Samet
     
    The Other Side by Lacy Johnson The Other Side by Lacy Johnson (Tin House Books)

    This is the haunting account of a first passionate and then abusive relationship, the events leading to Johnson’s kidnapping and imprisonment, her dramatic escape, and her hard-fought struggle to recover, raising timely questions about gender roles and the epidemic of violence against women.
    Lacy Johnson by Josh Okun
    Lacy Johnson
     
    The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs (Scribner)

    Written by his college roommate, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is the brilliant, deeply-researched account of the life of Robert DeShaun Peace, a talented young African-American man who left the ghettos of Newark, New Jersey, on a full scholarship to Yale University, but who was tragically murdered in a basement marijuana lab after he graduated.
    Jeff Hobbs by Nicole Caldwell
    Jeff Hobbs
     
    There Was and There Was Not by Meline Toumani There Was and There Was Not by Meline Toumani (Metropolitan Books)

    Frustrated by the all-consuming nature of her close-knit Armenian community’s quest for genocide recognition by Turkey, Toumani moved to Istanbul; this account of her “love thine enemy” experiment probes universal questions: how to belong to a community without conforming to it, how to acknowledge a tragedy without exploiting it, and, most important, how to remember a genocide without perpetuating the kind of hatred that makes such atrocities possible in the first place.
    Meline Toumani, photo credit Mark Smith
    Meline Toumani
     
    Who We Be by Jeff Chang Who We Be by Jeff Chang (St. Martin's Press)

    This book explores the changing (and unchanging) ways that the U.S. has viewed race over the past half-century, asking whether or not in the eras of “multicultural” and “post-racial” cultures if we really see each other more clearly.
    Jeff Chang, photo credit Jeremy Keith Villaluz
    Jeff Chang
     

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