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Winners to receive $10,000 Prize;
"Nanjing Requiem" by Ha Jin and
"Day of Honey" by Annia Ciezadlo named runners-up

Dayton, OH (October 1, 2012) – Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace and global understanding, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced that The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak and To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild are the winners of the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction and nonfiction, respectively.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation also announced this year’s runners-up: Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin and Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo.

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. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium while runners-up receive $1,000.

Organizers previously announced that author Tim O'Brien will be the recipient of the 2012 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award and renamed last year in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat. For forty years, O'Brien has drawn on his experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War to create a virtuosic body of work that includes The Things They Carried, In the Lake of the Woods, and Going After Cacciato.

Winners will be honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney on Sunday, November 11th at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Noting that all of this year’s honorees explore the lasting impact of war, Sharon Rab, founder of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation said it was fitting that this year’s ceremony falls on Veterans Day.

"This Veterans Day, we will honor five writers whose work examines the many ways that war challenges individual morality," said Rab. "As Americans wrestle with the ethical dilemmas inherent to being citizens of a nation at war, these authors present us with role models and object lessons to help guide us."

In The Sojourn (Bellevue Literary Press), first-time novelist Andrew Krivak tells the story of Jozef Vinich who returns with his father from a 19th-century Colorado mining town to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary only to be uprooted again by World War I. Nominated for a National Book Award, the novel recreates a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, Hungarians, and Germans fought on the same side in the most brutal war to date, and evokes the longing for the American dream amid the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

"The Sojourn came out of the stories my grandmother and my mother (her name was Irene, which means 'peace') told of a time and a place in 'the old country' during the Great War, when peace was not easily found, yet men and women lived and died hoping for it. So when I sat down to write my first novel, I decided that it would be a story about that war, but also about that peace, and those small acts of surrender in people’s lives that become profound moments of salvation," said Krivak. "To have this small act of a book honored with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is humbling, and beyond my greatest expectations."

In To End All Wars (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Adam Hochschild brings World War I to life as never before by focusing on the long-ignored critics of the conflict, which is now considered one of history’s most senseless spasms of carnage. In a suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Hochschild captures the riveting accounts of Britain's war protesters, many of whom were intimately connected to their enemy hawks and the war's generals and heroes. With hundreds of military cemeteries now filled with the millions who died in "the war to end all wars," the book asks if we can ever avoid repeating history. In The New York Times Book Review, Christopher Hitchens wrote, "This is a book to make one feel deeply and painfully, and also to think hard."

"Almost every war begins with the expectation of a swift and easy victory that will solve a problem. Seldom does this happen. This was the illusion that drove the world into war in 1914, and that has driven the United States into two disastrous wars in the last decade,” said Hochschild. “Can we learn from history? I hope so--that's why I keep writing it."

The 2012 runners-up are:

  • Fiction: Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books): The award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash returns to his homeland in a searing new novel that unfurls during one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century: the Rape of Nanjing.

  • Nonfiction: Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press): Day of Honey is a beautifully written, fiercely intelligent memoir exploring the heightened resonance of cooking in war-torn Baghdad and Beirut.

To be eligible for the 2012 awards, English-language books must have been published or translated into English in 2011 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. A panel of prominent writers, including Christopher Cerf, Alan Cheuse, Kenneth McClane, and April Smith, reviewed the 2012 finalists and selected this year’s winners and runners-up. A full list of the 2012 finalists can be found at:

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. Holbrooke 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.

Press release in PDF format.

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Promoting Peace and Literacy Around the World

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