Patrick Kowalczyk, [email protected]
Jenny Chang, [email protected]
DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE TO HONOR LOUISE ERDRICH WITH
RICHARD C. HOLBROOKE DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Acclaimed for bridging Native American and Anglo-American themes,
bestselling writer of fiction, poetry, and memoir to be honored at
Dayton ceremony on November 9th
Dayton, OH (August 18, 2014) – Louise Erdrich, a brilliant chronicler of contemporary
Native-American life, will receive the 2014 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 peaceand 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, which recognizes authors
for their complete body of work, will be presented to Erdrich at a gala ceremony in Dayton on
November 9, 2014. 2013 winner Wendell Berry will present the award to Erdrich.
Erdrich was raised by her Ojibwe-French mother and German-American father in North Dakota. Her
debut novel, Love
Medicine, won the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award and became the first
in a series set on a fictional Ojibwe reservation over a period of 60 years. Hailed for its lyrical
prose and rich realism, her work often reflects both sides of her heritage without judgment or
sentimentality, instead offering deeply honest portraits of complex individuals whose intertwining
narratives have invoked comparisons to William Faulkner. Among her most recent novels, 2012's
Round House won the National Book Award for its frank exploration of sexual violence on
Native American reservations, while 2008's The Plague of Doves was a finalist for the Pulitzer
Prize. Over the course of her three-decade career, Erdrich has written fourteen novels, as well
as volumes of poetry, short stories, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. She
currently lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.
"As we watch people in other countries clash over culture, religion, and ancient territorial
claims, Louise Erdrich's work reminds us that the United States, too, shares a similar history
of violence, discrimination, and neglect,” said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton
Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “Yet despite the war of competing cultures that arises between
her characters, Ms. Erdrich leaves us with a greater appreciation for the universal comedies
and tragedies that bind all humanity and inspire empathy even among enemies."
Erdrich will join the ranks of past winners of the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement
Award, formerly called the Lifetime Achievement Award, including Studs Terkel (2006), Elie Wiesel
(2007), Taylor Branch (2008), Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (2009), Geraldine Brooks (2010),
Barbara Kingsolver (2011), Tim O'Brien (2012), and Wendell Berry (2013).
Finalists for the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize will be announced in mid-August 2014.
About the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
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. Additionally, the Richard C.
Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed upon a writer whose body of work reflects
the Prize's mission; previous honorees include Wendell Berry, Taylor Branch, Geraldine Brooks,
Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Tim O'Brien, Studs Terkel, and Elie
Wiesel. For more information visit the Dayton Literary Peace Prize media center at
# # #
Press release in PDF format.
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: [email protected]