Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Literature for Peace

It’s impossible not to like the idea behind the four-year-old Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an award that celebrates “the power of literature to promote peace, nonviolent conflict resolution, and global understanding.”

For 2010, contenders include Dave Eggers (Zeitoun), Eugenia Kim (The Calligrapher’s Daughter), Chinua Achebe (The Education of a British-Protected Child) and Ha Jin (A Good Fill).

Winners will be honored at a ceremony on November 7th in Dayton, Ohio, though a winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced September 22nd. Winners will 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 7th.

Sharon Rob, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, says that the 2010 finalists help readers see, “pressing global issues through the eyes of individuals whose lives are immediately affected by the larger forces around them. 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.”

Eligible books must have been 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.”

The 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are:
A Postcard from the Volcano by Lucy Beckett (Ignatius Press)
A Good Fall by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Knopf)
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (Penguin Group; G. P. Putham's Sons/Riverhead Books)
The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim (Henry Holt and Company)
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adiche (Knopf)
The 2010 non-fiction finalists are:
Enough: Why the Worlds Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman (Public Affairs)
In the Valley of the Mist by Justine Hardy (Free Press)
Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson (Penguin Group, USA)
Tears in the Darkness by Michael and Elizabeth Norman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Education of a British-Protected Child by Chinua Achebe (Knopf)
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s)



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