The 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists for fiction and non-fiction were announced on Wednesday. The winners will be honored at a gala at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton on Nov. 11, 2012. The event will be hosted by journalist Nick Clooney.
The prestigious award, inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, “celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice and global understanding.”
This year’s finalists, selected by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, include bestselling authors as well as a first-time novelist and a former National Book Award winner. The books are set in locations across the globe including Baghdad, Beirut, Mississippi, Bosnia and California.
The works under consideration explore issues ranging from the damaging effects of personal grief to the long-term impact of war on both soldiers and civilians, according to Sharon Rab, who chairs the Foundation.
One winner and runner-up in both fiction and nonfiction will be announced on Sept. 24. The winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000.
Tim O’Brien (“The Things They Carried,” “In the Lake of the Woods,” “Going After Cacciato”) has previously been named the recipient of the 2012 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award. Last year’s recipient was Barbara Kingsolver.
The 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are:
• “Nanjing Requiem” by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
• “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
• “Shard” by Ismet Prcic (Grove Atlantic)
• “The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf)
• “The Grief of Others” by Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead)
• “The Sojourn’ by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press)
The 2012 nonfiction finalists are:
• “A Train in Winter” by Caroline Moorehead (HarperCollins)
• “Day of Honey” by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press)
• “Mighty Be Our Powers” by Leymah Gbowee (The Perseus Books Group)
• “To End All Wars” by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
• “What Is It Like to Go to War” by Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic)
Winners will be selected by a panel of prominent writers including Christopher Cerf, Alan Cheuse, Kenneth McClane and April Smith.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. To be eligible for the 2012 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2011 and address the theme of peace in some way: between individuals, among families and communities, among nations, religions or ethnic groups.
For a full list of finalists see: www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.