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Finalists include Louise Erdrich, Andrew Solomon, Katherine Boo, Ben Fountain;
Winners to be honored at gala Dayton ceremony on November 3rd

Dayton, OH (August 20, 2013) – Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced the finalists for the 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and nonfiction.

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 full list of finalists can be found below and at:

A winner and runner-up in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $1,000. They will be honored at a gala ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton on Sunday, November 3rd.

Organizers announced in July that author and activist Wendell Berry (Nathan Coulter, The Unsettling of America, Bringing it to The Table) will be the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named in honor of the celebrated U.S. diplomat. Previous winners include Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel (2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009), Geraldine Brooks (2010), Barbara Kingsolver (2011), and Tim O'Brien (2012).

"This year’s finalists examine conflict and the need for tolerance across the spectrum of relationships, from family members to diverse groups within communities to citizens of a country at war," said Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “Each work reminds us that our lives are filled with moral dilemmas every day, and each work offers an inspiring model to look to as we strive to resolve the conflicts such dilemmas bring.”

The 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction finalists are

  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins): A 13-year-old boy living on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota sets out with three friends on a quest for answers about an attack on his mother that has left her too traumatized to leave her bed.

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (HarperCollins): A hilarious and heartbreaking day in the life of an Iraq War hero whose squad appears in a Dallas Cowboys halftime show as part of an effort to rekindle support for the war.

  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (Random House): In this Pulitzer Prize-winning tour de force, Adam Johnson provides a riveting portrait of a world rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, and stolen moments of beauty and love.

  • The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore (Random House): In 1938 Belfast, a young lace maker is whisked away from her dreary life to a glamorous Berlin household, only to find her fairy tale shattered by the realities of encroaching war.

  • The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead (Algonquin): A mesmerizing coming-of-age novel that moves from the steamy streets of New Orleans to one of the most physically challenging battles in the Korean War.

  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown and Company): Praised by Tom Wolfe as “the All Quiet on the Western Front of America’s Arab wars,” this bestselling debut novel by an Iraq War veteran recounts a bloody battle through the eyes of two young soldiers.

The 2013 nonfiction finalists are

  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (Random House): Global change and inequality are given a human face via the residents of a makeshift settlement in the shadow of Mumbai’s luxury hotels.

  • Pax Ethnica by Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac (Public Affairs Books): From Kerala, India to Queens, New York, the authors explore regions noted for low violence, rising life expectancy, and pragmatic compromises on cultural rights, revealing how diverse communities manage to live in peace.

  • Burying the Typewriter by Carmen Bugan (Graywolf Press): In this debut memoir, a Romanian girl’s bucolic life is upended when her father is arrested for political dissidence.

  • Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden (Viking): Bred to be a slave and a snitch, Shin Dong-hyuk is the only known person born in a North Korean prison camp to escape and survive. This bestselling account inspired a UN investigation of such camps earlier this year.

  • Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King (HarperCollins): A richly detailed chronicle of four black Florida men who, falsely accused of rape in 1949, were defended by civil rights crusader Thurgood Marshall -- later the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

  • Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (Scribner): In telling the stories of exceptional children affected by a spectrum of cognitive, physical or psychological differences, Solomon uncovers the intense prejudice they face and meets the parents who embrace their differences and try to alter the world’s understanding of their conditions.

Finalists will be reviewed by prominent writers including Christopher Cerf, Michelle Latiolais, Maureen McCoy, and Ken Bode.

To be eligible for the 2013 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2012 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or between nations, religions, or ethnic groups.

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, Barbara Kingsolver, and Tim O'Brien. For more information visit the Dayton Literary Peace Prize media center at

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
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