Twelve finalists for the 2015 Dayton Literary Peace Prize are being announced today — six for fiction, six for nonfiction. The winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced Sept. 30.
The awards will be presented at an already sold-out 10th anniversary gala slated for Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. Organizers announced in August that activist Gloria Steinem, author of “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions” and “Revolution from Within,” will be the recipient of the 2015 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the Dayton Peace Accords. Television’s Phil Donahue, whose daytime talk show originated in Dayton, will present the award to Steinem.
This year’s books
To be eligible for the 2015 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2014 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels — between individuals, among families and communities, or between nations, religions or ethnic groups.
“The array of subjects covered in the more than 100 submissions for the 10th Dayton Literary Peace Prize show how complicated and dangerous the road to peace can be,” said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the international award. “The finalists bring those subjects into focus: issues of gender, race, immigration, environment, war, poverty, corruption — the list seems endless and the solutions seem impossible to achieve. Yet, the books also provide the pathway to peace: education, empathy and an understanding of history. Knowing how we got here can help us find our way out.”
The finalists for fiction
The fiction finalists are: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr; “An Untamed State,” by Roxane Gay; “Land of Love and Drowning,” by Tiphanie Yanique; “The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez; “The Care and Management of Lies” by Jacqueline Winspear, and “The Great Glass Sea” by Josh Weil.
The finalists for non fiction
Non fiction finalists include “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson; “No Man’s Land” by Elizabeth D. Samet; “The Other Side” by Lacy M. Johnson; “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” by Jeff Hobbs; “There Was and There Was Not;” by Meline Toumani; “Who We Be” by Jeff Chang.”
Launched in 2006, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, 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. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000.
“Every year we get more submissions and they come from all over the world,” Rab said. “I’m just amazed by how the community and the literary world have embraced the award. All of the authors who come to Dayton as recipients of the prize are very moved by the way the community embraces them.”
Finalists will be reviewed by prominent writers including Ron Carlson, Christine Schutt, Faith Adiele and Evelyn McDonnell.
The full list of finalists can be found at: www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.