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July 22, 2020

Dear Readers,

This is the final installment of the fourteen years of archived Finalists of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. We will be announcing the new finalists later in the summer and will continue “Expanding Your Horizons While Sheltering in Place.” We hope you have enjoyed this journey through the history of the DLPP and perhaps we uncovered some hidden treasures for you.

Going back to our first year is time travel for us as well. We were just beginning and had great faith the connection to peace through literature would lead us to important works, and we have been enlightened by each year’s choices. In 2006 we started our journey by visiting the disillusion brought by the wars we had fought, and, unknown to us at the time, by reading works foreshadowing authors and themes to come. A Changed Man by Francine Prose, describes a man as changed as Derek Black in 2019’s Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow; Stephen Walker’s Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima was complemented in 2016 by Susan Southard’s Nagasaki. Erdrich’s painted drum follows a similar path to “the book” in Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book. Lighting the Way tells the stories of nine women who changed the world, much as Gloria Steinem has done. Three of the finalists returned to our stage as winners: Adam Hochschild is our only two-time winner; Daniel Alarcon returned as a Fiction Runner-up and Louise Erdrich became an Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Winner.

As with so many of the books to follow, the self-discoveries made as a result of being uprooted, displaced, disappeared drive many of the characters in 2006 and often those displacements are related to war or tragedy. That’s true in In Perfect Light, The Discontinuity of Small Things, War by Candlelight, Lucky Child, In My Brother’s Shadow and Zahir. In the books of 2006, we learn the struggle to remain humane in the face of war and tragedy is a struggle shared by people in Mexico, Denmark, South America, Cambodia, Iraq, Japan, Paris, Germany, England, and the U.S. We are not alone in this struggle, and neither are they.

Over the next few months, we will be sending you more opportunities to engage with new books, new writers—by reading or through virtual experiences. We hope the DLPP books have helped you endure this difficult time.

Stay safe. Be well. Read books.

Sharon-sig founder- -bot-president2 530x38

This list includes the winners and runners-up for 2006 and we have rich background information on each one on our website.

▪ Under Past Winners. scroll down to the year and click on it.
▪ If you click on the winners and runners-up, you will find the author’s bio, the judges’ citation, and the writer’s reflection on literature and peace.
Under Past Winners. scroll down to the year and click on it.
If you click on the winners and runners-up, you will find the author’s bio, the judges’ citation, and the writer’s reflection on literature and peace.

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


2006 Finalists - Fiction

2006 finalists prose f w

A Changed Man by Francine Prose (HarperCollins): Francine Prose’s novel A Changed Man boldly portrays the psychological roots of social conflict in the character of Vincent Nolan, a young American neo-Nazi who takes a great leap of faith and attempts to transform his own life for the better.

2006 finalists saenz f

In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Saenz (HarperCollins): From award-winning poet Benjamin Alire Sáenz comes In Perfect Light, a haunting novel depicting the cruelties of cultural displacement and the resilience of those who are left in its aftermath.

2006 finalists haworth f ru

The Discontinuity of Small Things by Kevin Haworth (Quality Words in Print): This quiet story of the Holocaust chronicles the lives of Danes through the summer of 1943. The discontinuity of small things—the scattered inconveniences, chance meetings, glimpses of injustice, and indulgences of hope,— haphazardly direct individual fate. A hypnotic story of ordinary people caught in a silent maelstrom driven to extraordinary feats.

2006 finalists erdrich f

The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins): Compelling and unforgettable, Louise Erdrich's Painted Drum explores the often-fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.

2006 finalists alarcon f

War by Candlelight by Daniel Alarcon (Harper Collins): Something is happening around the globe: mass movements of peoples, dislocations of language and culture in the wake of war and economic crises—simply put, our world is changing. In this exquisite collection, Daniel Alarcón takes the reader from Third World urban centers to the fault lines that divide nations and people.

2006 finalists coelho f

Zahir: A Novel of Obsession by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins): The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.


2006 Finalists - Nonfiction

2006 finalists hochschild nf ru

Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin): An account of the first great human rights crusade, which originated in England in the 1780s and resulted in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of slaves around the world.

2006 finalists timm nf

In My Brother’s Shadow by Uwe Timm (Farrar, Straus and Giroux): Uwe Timm was born in Germany in 1940. Just three years later his brother, Karl-Heinz, who was sixteen years his senior and a sapper in the elite SS Death's Head Division, was killed. His notebook was returned to the family. When Timm decided to write this astonishing memoir, he feared the possibility that his brother's unit had taken part in the shooting of civilians and Jews. Yet he wanted to piece together his brother's experience, and also that of his nation, which once considered the qualities of an SS man so exemplary. As Timm unleashes his memories of this devastating time, he also pinpoints the questions that his parents' generation seemed unable to face, and offers new insights into the impact of the war on ordinary Germans.

2006 finalists gore schiff nf

Lighting the Way by Karena Gore Shiff (Miramax): Karenna Gore Schiff’s nationally bestselling narrative tells the fascinating stories of nine influential women, who each in her own way, tackled inequity and advocated change throughout the turbulent twentieth century.

2006 finalists ung nf

Lucky Child by Loung Ung (Little, Brown and Company): In this poignant and elegiac memoir, Loung recalls her assimilation into an unfamiliar new culture while struggling to overcome dogged memories of violence and the deep scars of war. In alternating chapters, she gives voice to Chou, the beloved older sister whose life in war-torn Cambodia so easily could have been hers. Highlighting the harsh realities of chance and circumstance in times of war as well as in times of peace, Lucky Child is ultimately a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and to the salvaging strength of family bonds.

2006 finalists shadid nf

Night Draws Near by Anthony Shadid (Henry Holt and Company): Through the moving stories of individual Iraqis, Shadid shows how Saddam's downfall paved the way not just for hopes of democracy but also for the importation of jihad and the rise of a bloody insurgency.

2006 finalists walker nf w

Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima by Stephen Walker (HarperCollins): Author Stephen Walker brilliantly re-creates the three terrible weeks leading up to the wartime detonation of the atomic bomb—from the first successful test in the New Mexico desert to the cataclysm and its aftermath—presenting the story through the eyes of pilots, scientists, civilian victims, and world leaders who stood at the center of earth-shattering drama. It is a startling, moving, frightening, and remarkable portrait of an extraordinary event—a shockwave whose repercussions can be felt to this very day.


2006 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

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2006 finalists terkel la

In early 2006, WYSO’s Book Nook host Vick Mickunas suggested that we add a Lifetime Achievement Award to the fiction and nonfiction awards we had already planned. And then he suggested that we give it to Studs Terkel. We will be indebted forever to Vick for his idea and his willingness to invite Studs to Dayton for what Mr. Terkel called his “Valedictory Speech.” He was the perfect choice to launch the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, every bit the visual depiction of the common man he championed in his red shirt and red socks and with his crooked index finger admonishing us to “do what is right.”

We were honored to have him among us and we are honored to share his memory and his books with you. The list of books provides us with a rich oral history as, along with the taped archive of his radio show The Art of Conversation, he captures the voices of America. If you don’t know his work, his voice and the voices he captured on the page and on the air tell the true story of the country’s struggle toward greatness.

To learn more about Studs, read the Chicago Tribune's story of his extraordinary life.


Join us for a live stream panel discussion July 28 at 6:00 pm

Rising Out of Hatred FB TW

This summer, local libraries, universities, and partner organizations are bringing their communities together to seek understanding and reconciliation, through a study of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winning book for nonfiction, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eli Saslow.

Program coordinator and Adult Services Librarian at the Tipp City Public Library, Drew Wichterman, said “This book tells the story of Derek Black, a man born into a culture and practice of white nationalism, who was forever changed by the relationships he formed during his college experience, including with an Orthodox Jew who invited him to attend weekly Shabbat dinners. It’s a book that shines a light on America’s divided nature and shows us all how to better understand one another.”

The goal in selecting this book for a community-wide read and focused panel discussion is to allow that “through reading and discussion of this title, the partner organizations will explore the power of relationships, broader understanding, and embracing differences to make a difference in our minds and in our world,” according to Wichterman.

A focused panel discussion will be filmed and shared through the partner organizations social media channels and websites. A live stream of the panel may also be viewed on Tuesday, July 28th at 6 PM on Facebook by visiting @OBMC2020. *Participants are invited to submit questions to the panel using a Google form*.

The panel will include:
Faheem Curtis-Khidr, History Professor, Sinclair Community College
Marc DeWitt, Coordinator, African American Male Initiative, Sinclair Community College
Furaha Henry-Jones, English Professor, Sinclair Community College
Lynette Jones, Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures, Wright State University
Tiffany Taylor Smith, Executive Director for Inclusive Excellence Education, University of Dayton

Vick Mickunas, of WYSO’s Book Nook, will lead the panel discussion. Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1,500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. He also reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News-Sun.

Copies of the book will be available in print and digital formats at the participating libraries and some partner organizations. For more information on this program, visit their websites and social media channels.

Partner organizations include One Book, Many Communities, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, WYSO, Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, and the University of Dayton.

Participating libraries include Arcanum Public Library, Bradford Public Library, Brown Memorial Public Library, Cardington-Lincoln Public Library, Champaign County Library, Clark County Public Library, J. R. Clark Public Library, Edison State Community College, Greenville Public Library, Marvin Memorial Library, Milton-Union Public Library, New Carlisle Public Library, New Madison Public Library, Piqua Public Library, Selover Public Library, St. Paris Public Library, Tipp City Public Library, Tri-County North School District, Troy-Miami County Public Library, Urbana University, Worch Memorial Public Library, and Wornstaff Memorial Public Library.


Join our virtual book club August 19 at 7:00

2014 finalists wrinkle f ru

Margaret Wrinkle’s debut novel Wash was the 2014 DLPP Fiction Runner-Up, and over the last six years, Margaret has generously returned to Dayton numerous times to share her insights into our past and her writing process that makes Wash an unforgettable story. Margaret takes us from Tennessee to West Africa and brings us back again as she explores the soul of the South.

“The voices of the past can't speak for themselves and must rely on the artists of the future to honor them. It's a profound responsibility and one that Margaret Wrinkle meets in her brilliant novel Wash. She shows not only the courage to submerge herself in the Stygian world of plantation slavery but also the grace and sensitivity to bring that world to life . . . Narrative roles are given to Wash, fellow slaves and his succession of masters, creating a dense, hypnotic ensemble of voices. It's from patriarchs like Wash, Ms. Wrinkle shows, that the U.S. was born.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

The members of the DLPP book club chose Wash so we can continue to explore the basis for the call for justice we continue to hear today. Please join us for a rich discussion of our past and our present.

Ron Rollins, recently retired Dayton Daily News Ideas and Voices Editor, will moderate the discussion.

Please join us August 19 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. Email Emily Kretzer to sign up.


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

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