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Andrew Solomon Awarded Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction

Celebrating the power of literature to promote peace and global understanding, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation today announced that The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson and Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon are the winners of the 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for fiction and nonfiction, respectively.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation also announced this year’s runners-up: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain and Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King.

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. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium while runners-up receive $1,000. They will be honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney on Sunday, November 3rd at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.

…In Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner), Solomon draws on ten years’ worth of interviews to tell the stories of exceptional children affected by a spectrum of cognitive, physical, or psychological differences, and the extraordinary parents who embrace those differences and try to alter the world’s understanding of them. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of compassion, acceptance, and tolerance — all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice.

“Each of this year’s honorees illustrates how a single event or circumstance – from having an exceptional child to falling in love with the wrong person – can be a powerful moral catalyst,” said Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “These extraordinary stories remind us that even the most intimate personal challenge can serve as a building block for peace by inspiring deeper understanding and empathy.”

To be eligible for the 2013 awards, English-language books must have been 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 among nations, religions, or ethnic groups.

A panel of prominent writers, including Ken Bode, Christopher Cerf, Michelle Latiolais, and Maureen McCoy, reviewed the 2013 finalists and selected this year’s winners and runners-up. A full list of the 2013 finalists can be found at:

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. 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.

(To read the full announcement, please visit the Dayton Literary Peace Prize website.)