2008 Dayton Literary
Peace Prize Finalists


  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

    Mixing pop culture and political criticism, this critically acclaimed novel is a warm and humorous account of the American immigrant experience. (Penguin Group)

  • Díaz
  • Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead

    Set during the Civil War, Coal Black Horse is a brutally honest novel depicting the horrors of war. (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

  • Olmstead
  • Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcón

    Taking place in a nameless South American country, this powerful story illustrates wars devastating impact on a society transformed by violence. (HarperCollins Publishers)

  • Alarcón
  • The Ocean in the Closet by Yoko Taniguchi

    A touching novel portraying a young woman’s journey as she helps her family heal and recover from the damages of both the Vietnam War and World War II. (Coffee House Press)

  • Taniguchi
  • Song for Night by Chris Abani

    Trained as a human mine detector, a West African boy soldier witnesses and takes part in unspeakable brutality. (Akashic Books)

  • Abani


  • Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel

    An American Muslim from India recounts his journey that led him to embrace religious pluralism and reject hatred. (Beacon Press)

  • Patel
  • Are We Rome? by Cullen Murphy

    Comparing the politics and culture of Ancient Rome with that of the contemporary United States, Murphy reveals lessons on how America can avoid Rome’s demise. (Houghton Mifflin Company)

  • Murphy
  • Break Through by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

    The two young environmentalists behind the controversial 2004 essay, “The Death of Environmentalism,” articulate a new politics for solving the world’s ecological crisis. (Houghton Mifflin Company)

  • Shellenberger

  • Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat

    A moving memoir of Danticat’s Haitian immigrant family’s struggle to stay connected in spite of living apart. (Knopf Publishing Group)

  • Danticat
  • Fragile Edge by Julia Whitty

    Fragile Edge takes readers on an underwater journey to explore the threats facing coral reefs and why they are vital to human survival. (Houghton Mifflin Company)

  • Whitty


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