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A CRIME SO MONSTROUS BY BENJAMIN SKINNER

AND PEACE BY RICHARD BAUSCH

NAMED WINNERS OF 2009 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

Winners receive $10,000 prize; Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
And Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman named runners-up

www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org

Dayton, OH (September 22, 2009) – A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern Day Slavery by Benjamin Skinner and Peace by Richard Bausch today were named winners of the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction and fiction, respectively.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Committee also announced this year’s runners-up: Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman (nonfiction) and Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan, (fiction), which was selected as the next book for Oprah’s Book Club on September 18th. The Committee previously announced that authors and journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Half the Sky, China Wakes) will receive the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace and nonviolence, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. It was founded in 2006 as an outgrowth of the Dayton Peace Prize, which commemorates the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords ending the war in Bosnia.

Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000.They will be honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney on Sunday, November 8th at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.

"With great courage, passion, and wisdom, each of this year’s winners sheds new light on the devastating impact of war, violence, and poverty, while inspiring readers to work towards peace and the advancement of human rights,” said Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. “It's especially noteworthy that three of the books honored this year - Half the Sky, A Crime So Monstrous, and Say You're One of Them - put a much-needed spotlight on the tragedy of contemporary slavery, an issue that has been ignored for far too long."

Based on years of reporting in such places as Haiti, Sudan, India, Eastern Europe, The Netherlands and suburban America, A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern Day Slavery (Free Press) by Benjamin Skinner is both a shocking expose of the horrors of contemporary slavery and an inspiring call to make ending this crime a global priority.

A first-time author, Skinner is donating his $10,000 honorarium to Free The Slaves, the American wing of Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights organization.

“By highlighting modern-day slavery and the fight for its abolition, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize committee pushed forward the "unfinished work" that President Lincoln spoke about that Thursday afternoon in Gettysburg,” said Skinner. “There are more slaves today than at any point in human history, and I'm deeply honored, and humbled, to be recognized by the committee as being among those working for their freedom.”

Set among American soldiers in Italy during World War Two, Peace (Knopf) by Richard Bausch is a powerful, 182-page meditation on the corrosiveness of violence, the human cost of war, and the redemptive power of mercy.

“I am honored to receive the prize--especially when I see the books that were nominated along with mine,” said Bausch. “It is heartening to be judged worthy of that company, and to be singled out among them is deeply humbling."

The 2009 runners-up are:

  • Fiction: Say You’re 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.

  • Non-fiction: 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.

To be eligible for the 2009 awards, English-language books must have been published and translated into English in 2008 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.

Winners and runners-up were selected by a panel of prominent writers including Gerald Early, Cullen Murphy, Gordon Lish, and Katherine Vaz.

To receive an invitation, please contact Sharon Rab at sharon.rab@daytonliterarypeaceprize.org or request by mail at Dayton Literary Peace Prize, P.O. Box 461, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, OH 45409-0461.

About the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Click here to visit our website The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it 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. 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. An annual lifetime achievement award is also bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission; previous honorees included Taylor Branch (2008), Elie Wiesel (2007), and Studs Terkel (2006).

Press release in PDF format.

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Promoting Peace and Literacy Around the World

Dayton Literary Peace Prize, P. O. Box 461, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, OH 45409-0461
Tel: (937) 298-5072   ::   Email: sharon.rab@daytonliterarypeaceprize.org
 
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