Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize (DLPP) began in 2006. The express mission of the award is to honor the advancement of peace through literature. The DLPP is the only annual literary award in the United States to take on this mission. Works of adult fiction and nonfiction promoting peace and humanity published within the past year are able to be nominated for cash prizes. It is a unique and prestigious award, and it is a Dayton original!
The 2016 winners of the DLPP offer an interesting range of subjects, which is not uncommon to the awards. Each year four books and one lifetime achievement winner are recognized.

Holbrooke Award Winner for Lifetime Achievement
This year Marilynne Robinson was selected to receive the Richard C. Holbrooke Lifetime Achievement award. Graceful and accomplished, ethical and humane, Robinson’s writing has for over thirty years reminded, encouraged, pushed, and sometimes prodded readers to do that right thing and, in the process, to become reacquainted with what a U.S. President (who would surely also have admired her work) called “the better angels of our nature.”

Fiction Winner
Viet Thanh Nguyen's debut novel The Sympathizer  is
 a profound, startling, and beautifully crafted story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. 
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

Nonfiction Winner
Susan Southard wrote Nagasaki : Life After Nuclear WarPublished on the seventieth anniversary of the bombing, Nagasaki takes readers from the morning of the bombing to the city today, telling the first-hand experiences of five survivors, all of whom were teenagers at the time of the devastation. Susan Southard has spent years interviewing hibakusha (“bomb-affected people”) and researching the physical, emotional, and social challenges of post-atomic life. She weaves together dramatic eyewitness accounts with searing analysis of the policies of censorship and denial that colored much of what was reported about the bombing both in the United States and Japan.A gripping narrative of human resilience, Nagasaki will help shape public discussion and debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history.

Fiction Runner-up
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Nonfiction Runner-up
Find me unafraid : love, loss, and hope in an African slum by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner

To place holds on the books or view last year's winners, please check out our new Dayton Literary Peace Prize booklist.

For more information on the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, please go to

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