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Acclaimed chronicler of Vietnam War to be honored for illuminating soldier's perspective on war at Dayton ceremony on November 11th

Dayton, OH (July 31, 2012) – Tim O'Brien, a bestselling author who draws on his experiences in the Vietnam War to illuminate the devastating and long-term impact of wars on the soldiers who fight them, will receive the 2012 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, organizers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize announced today.

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. The Prize celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding. The Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award is named in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat, who played an instrumental role in negotiating the Accords. The award will be presented to O'Brien at a gala ceremony in Dayton on November 11, 2012.

O'Brien served as an infantryman with the U.S. Army in Vietnam for one year and subsequently worked as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post. He first won acclaim in 1973 with the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, about his war experiences. He received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979 for his novel Going After Cacciato. His 1990 story collection The Things They Carried, whose title story received the National Magazine Award, was named one of the twenty best books of the last quarter century by the New York Times.

Among his other books are Northern Lights (1975), Tomcat in Love (1998), July, July (2002) and In the Lake of the Woods, which was named the best novel of 1994 by Time Magazine. Known for blurring the line between memoir and fiction, O'Brien is the recipient of literary awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been elected to both the Society of American Historians and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. O'Brien's novels have sold more than three million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

"Tim O'Brien's virtuosic works, continually described as the defining literature of the Vietnam War, capture the horrors and hallucinations of the twentieth century's most divisive war while carrying a powerful message for peace," said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. "At a time when most Americans are insulated from the impact of our ongoing wars, O'Brien's work helps us understand what it means to send soldiers into combat and reminds us that their war continues long after they return home."

"The Dayton Literary Peace Prize promotes the cause of peace by helping people understand the ugly realities of war on a deep, personal level, which is exactly what I strive to do in my work," said O'Brien. "It is a great, great honor to have been chosen as a recipient of the Richard C. Holbrooke Award. Over what has been a long career, this award means more to me than any other -- by far."

As part of the award, O'Brien will receive a $10,000 honorarium. The ceremony will also honor recipients of the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction and Nonfiction. Finalists for the 2012 awards will be announced in late August.

O'Brien will join the ranks of past winners of the award, formerly called the Lifetime Achievement Award, including Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDun (2009), Geraldine Brooks (2010), and Barbara Kingsolver (2011). Recipients of the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize will be announced in September and honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton on November 11, 2012.

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, renamed the Richard C. Holbooke Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011, is also bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects the Prize's mission; previous honorees include Studs Terkel, Elie Wiesel, Taylor Branch, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Geraldine Brooks, and Barbara Kingsolver.

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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
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