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The Holbrooke award is named for Richard Holbrooke, an American diplomat credited with brokering the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord that stopped the war between Bosnian, Croat and Serb forces in the Balkans.
That award is given annually to an author whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission.
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In winning the lifetime achievement award, Momaday will join a list of writers that include John Irving (2018), 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), Wendell Berry (2013), Louise Erdrich(2014), Gloria Steinem (2015) and Marilynne Robinson (2016).
Raised on Southwestern Navajo, Apache and Pueblo reservations, Navarre Scott Momaday’s first novel, “House Made of Dawn” (1968), won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and has been widely credited with spearheading the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream.
The book tells the story of a young man who returns to his Kiowa pueblo after a stint in the U.S. Army.
Momaday’s other works include: “The Way to Rainy Mountain” (1969) and “The Names: A Memoir” (1976).
His stories, essays and poems have been published in a list of acclaimed collections that include “Angle of Geese and Other Poems” (1974), “The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages” (1997) and “The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems” (due in 2020).
Momaday received the National Medal of Arts and was named Oklahoma’s Centennial Poet Laureate in 2007.
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Established in 2006 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."
Finalists for the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize will be announced Aug. 13.