Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

The Sympathizer on Shortlist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel, The Sympathizer, is among 5 other fiction books nominated for the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The following article was originally published on


Twelve finalists have been announced for the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize — half for fiction, half for nonfiction.
A winner and runnerup in each category will be announced Oct. 11. Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up receive $2,500.

The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney in Dayton on Nov. 20.

Last month, organizers of the event announced that novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson will receive the 2016 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. Holbrooke was the U.S. diplomat who helped negotiate the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that put an end to the 3 1/2-year-long Bosnian War.

This year’s books

To be eligible for the 2016 awards, English-language books must be published or translated into English in 2015 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or between nations, religions or ethnic groups.

The finalists for fiction:

The finalists are “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara; “Delicious Foods” by James Hannaham; “Green on Blue” by Elliot Ackerman; “Orhan’s Inheritance” by Aline Ohanesian; “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Youngblood” by Matt Gallagher.

The finalists for nonfiction:

“Between the World and Me” by TaNehisi Coates; “Find Me Unafraid” by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner; “Nagasaki” by Susan Southard; “Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America” by Wil Haygood; “The Reason You Walk” by Wab Kinew, and “The Train to Crystal City” by Jan Jarboe Russell.

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize was launched in 2006. It is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States.

“Many of this year’s finalists explore the contradictory strength and fragility of the family bond, and the threat that external forces such as poverty, war, and prejudice can place on that bond,” said Sharon Rab, co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “Through these narratives we explore the sources of conflict within the family but also what our immediate relationships can teach us about healing and reconciliation in the larger world.”

Finalists will be reviewed by a panel of prominent writers including Alexander Chee, Christine Schutt, Ruben Martinez and Evelyn McDonnell.

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