DLPP17 email header 590

April 22, 2020

Dear Readers,

This is the third installment of “Expand Your Horizons While Sheltering at Home” from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. We would like to reintroduce you to the 2017 Finalists for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize who come from throughout the world. Their books explore the founding of America, and follow American history from the American and Chinese point of view. We bear witness to the struggles of slaves seeking freedom, and immigrants struggling to find the freedom that America promised, including the Hmong, Armenian, Columbian, and African people. We read of the struggle of the white working class and the mentally ill to follow the American dream, and the lingering horrors of the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq that follow our soldiers home. The authors here give us a kaleidoscope of visions of America, both lost and found, and in spite of the difficult stories, the books offer insight and solutions. We invite you to meet the characters and people in these books whose lives connect with ours.

Stay safe,

Sharon-sig BOT 530x38

This list includes the winners and runners-up for 2017 and we have rich background information on each one on our website.

▪ Under Past Winners. scroll down to the year and click on it.
▪ You will have the option of clicking on a winner, a runner-up, or the finalists.
▪ If you click on the photo of winners and runners-up, you will find the author’s photo and bio, a selection from the book, the judges’ citation, the writer’s reflection on literature and peace, and the option of watching the introduction and acceptance speech.
Under Past Winners. scroll down to the year and click on it.
You will have the option of clicking on a winner, a runner-up, or the finalists.
If you click on the photo of winners and runners-up, you will find the author’s photo and bio, a selection from the book, the judges’ citation, the writer’s reflection on literature and peace, and the option of watching the introduction and acceptance speech.

On the bottom right of the home page, you can click on COREScholar, which is built by the Chair of our Curriculum Committee Carol Loranger, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State, and maintained for us by Wright State University. There you can find interviews, TED Talks, articles, other books, films, etc. by and about each of our winning and runner-up authors. It is a great resource for students, book clubs, and readers who would like to explore an author in depth.


“Read global; buy local.” — Marlon James, DLPP 2009 Fiction Winner for The Book of Night Women


2017 Finalists - Fiction

Proulx 200

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Annie Proulx’s most ambitious and epic work ever, a dazzling feat of imagination and research ten years in the writing—a violent, bloody, magnificently dramatic novel about the forming of the new world over 200 years ago.

Gyasi 200

A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel: a story of race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.

Butler 200

In Perfume River, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler traces the legacy of the Vietnam War through the dramatic portrait of a single North Florida family struggling to confront the past. It is a profound and poignant book that echoes the American experience and the lives of so many affected by war.

Davies 200

Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.

Whitehead 200

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

Engel 200

From award-winning author, Patricia Engel, The Veins of the Ocean follows the riveting story of one young woman’s devotion to her brother on death row and the journey she takes toward a freer future. Set along the vibrant coasts of Miami, Havana, and Cartagena, this novel explores the beauty of the natural world and the solace it brings to even the most fractured lives.


2017 Finalists - Nonfiction

Rawlence 200

In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp, sketching the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped. Lucid, vivid, and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dabaab home.

Vance 200

From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.

Mckeen 200

In The Hundred-Year Walk, Dawn MacKeen alternates between her grandfather Stepan’s courageous account of surviving the Armenian genocide of 1915, drawn from his long-lost journals, and her own story as she attempts to retrace his steps, setting out alone to Turkey and Syria, shadowing her resourceful, resilient grandfather across a landscape still rife with tension. Their shared story is a testament to family, to home, and to the power of the human spirit to transcend the barriers of religion, ethnicity, and even time itself.

Yang 200

Written with the exquisite beauty for which Kao Kalia Yang is renowned, The Song Poet recounts the life of her father Bee Yang, a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by American's Secret War. Above all, it is a love story—of a daughter for her father, a father for his children, a people for their land, their traditions, and all that they have lost.

Wood 200

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wood offers a groundbreaking examination of a pervasive yet poorly-understood experience among our soldiers: moral injury, the violation of our fundamental values of right and wrong that so often occurs in the impossible moral dilemmas of modern conflict.

Sanders 200

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America.


2017 Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award Winner


Colm Toíbín’s work is varied and while we are suggesting his novel Brooklyn and the accompanying film that tells the story, you also might want to read the nonfiction work Bad Blood: A Walk Along the Irish Border which describes Toíbín’s walk along the border of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland (Eire) in the 1980’s, interviewing the people who lived on either side. For those of you with a special interest in mythology, we recommend The House of Names, a retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children, and for those of you who are fans of Henry James, we recommend The Master.

Brooklyn explores the immigrant/emigrant experience that echoes many of the finalists of 2017, and he shows how powerfully where we live, our “place,” can define our lives. Read the New York Times book review of Brooklyn, The Reluctant Emigrant.


Join our virtual book club!

DLPP20 brooks year of wonders

“Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion.” – The Washington Post

An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the spread of the plague, from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Ron Rollins, Dayton Daily News Ideas and Voices Editor, will moderate the discussion of The Year of Wonders.

Email Emily Kretzer to be added to the list. We'll send details as they become available.


Support the Dayton Literary Peace Prize when you shop with Amazon using this link.

Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company