2009 Dayton Literary
Peace Prize Finalists

Fiction

  • Say Youíre One of Them by Uwem Akpan (Little, Brown & Company):

    A Nigerian-born Jesuit priest, Akpan humanizes the perils of poverty and violence facing children in Africa in this stunning collection of five short stories.
  • Peace by Richard Bausch (Knopf):

    Set among American soldiers in Italy during World War Two, Peace is a compelling meditation on the moral dimensions of warfare.
  • The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (Harper Collins):

    A violent act of racism haunts generations of Native American and white families living in rural North Dakota.
  • Beijing Coma by Ma Jian (Farrar, Straus and Giroux):

    Emerging from a coma caused by a bullet during the Tiananmen Square protests ten year earlier, a man recounts the horrors of the Mao era and senses the massive changes underway in China.
  • Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner (Scribner):

    The story of American executives and their families driven out of Cuba in 1958, Kushnerís powerful debut novel is a riveting exploration of colonialism, corporate America, and revolution.
  • Song Yet Sung by James McBride (Penguin Group):

    The haunting story of a runaway slave and a determined slave-catcher in pre-Civil War Maryland, Song Yet Sung explores both the moral choices faced by both blacks and whites and the meaning of freedom.

Nonfiction

  • Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (Simon & Schuster):

    In this wide-ranging, fresh perspective on the political and social landscape that gave rise to World War II, Baker makes a clear, compelling case in defense of pacifism.
  • Dust from our Eyes: An Unblinkered Look at Africa by Joan Baxter (Wolsak & Wynn):

    Baxter draws on more than two decades of living in and reporting from Africa to reveal that there is more to the continent than poverty and suffering, and far more to Western involvement than benevolent charity.
  • Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux):

    Taking a provocative look at the crises of climate change and rising competition for energy, Friedman proposes a national strategy to make America healthier, richer, and more secure.
  • Writing in the Dark by David Grossman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux):

    In six essays on politics and culture in Israel, including his speech on the 2006 Lebanon War, which took the life of his son, Grossman addresses the conscience of a country that has lost faith in its leaders and its ideals.
  • My Fatherís Paradise: A Sonís Search for his Fatherís Past by Ariel Sabar (Algonquin):

    Traveling with his father to a remote corner of war-torn Iraq in a quest for roots and reconciliation, Sabar shares an intimate story of tolerance and hope in an Iraq very different from the one in the headlines today.
  • A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern Day Slavery by Benjamin Skinner (Free Press):

    Based on years of reporting in such places as Haiti, Sudan, India, Eastern Europe, The Netherlands, and, even suburban America, Skinner has produced a vivid testament and moving reportage on the horrors of contemporary slavery.
  • The Great Experiment by Strobe Talbott (Simon & Schuster):

    Combining sweeping history with personal insight, Talbott explores the consolidation of tribes into nations and argues for America's unique role in modern history as "the master builder" of the international system.

 
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