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Ondaatje, Hochschild among Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalists

August 22, 2012|by Carolyn Kellogg
  • Author Michael Ondaatje (pictured here in 2007) is a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist for his "The Cat's Table."
Author Michael Ondaatje (pictured here in 2007) is a Dayton Literary Peace… (Jeff Nolte / Alfred A. Knopf…)

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize announced the finalists for its 2012 awards Wednesday. The prizes, which are awarded in fiction and nonfiction in conjunction with the Dayton Peace Prize, are given annually to work that "uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding."

Six finalists have been named in fiction and five in nonfiction. Michael Ondaatje, author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "The English Patient," which was adapted into the Oscar-winning film, is among the 2012 fiction finalists for his novel "The Cat's Table."

Adam Hochschild's "To End All Wars" is among the nonfiction finalists. The history, which uses the narratives of both critics and generals to tell the history of World War I, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle nonfiction prize.

The fiction finalists also include Jesmyn Ward, whose novel "Salvage the Bones" about a poor Mississippi family in the path of Hurricane Katrina, won the National Book Award. "Katrina! Katrina silenced me for two years," the Mississippi native told The Times in April. "I didn't realize until afterwards, until I climbed up out of that hole and began writing 'Salvage the Bones,' that it had done that to me."

The fiction and nonfiction winners of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize will be announced Sept. 24. Winners are awarded $10,000, and finalists receive $1,000; they will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on Nov. 11. The complete list of finalists is below.

Fiction
"Nanjing Requiem" by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
"Salvage the Bones" by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
"Shards" by Ismet Prcic (Grove Atlantic)
"The Cat’s Table" by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf)
"The Grief of Others" by Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead)
"The Sojourn" by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press)

Nonfiction:
"A Train in Winter" by Caroline Moorehead (HarperCollins)
"Day of Honey" by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press)
"Mighty Be Our Powers" by Leymah Gbowee (Perseus Books Group)
"To End All Wars" by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
"What Is It Like to Go to War" by Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic)

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