Dave Eggers and Marlon James Win the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

By Maryann Yin Comment

Dayton Peace.JPGDave Eggers and Marlon James win this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The recognition for Eggers’ nonfiction title Zeitoun and James’ fiction title The Book of Night Women awards each author $10,000. Justine Hardy earned the runner-up title in nonfiction for In the Valley of Mist while Chimamanda Adichie was recognized as the fiction runner-up for The Thing Around Your Neck. They will each receive $1,000.

Eggers’ reaction to the honor: “This honor means the world to me, and I share this with the Zeitoun family, who had faith in me to tell their story. This award comes at an interesting moment, when Muslims in America are experiencing a new wave of xenophobia and unfounded suspicion. Meanwhile, the Zeitouns have been speaking at colleges, at temples and churches, and everywhere they go people of all faiths tell them that they’re the all-American family, and each appearance ends in mutual admiration and respect. Which means, ultimately, that listening to each other, getting to know the people behind the headlines, the shrill debates, means everything. If we begin to listen to each other, to listen before speaking – before judging -then we go a long way toward a more empathetic and peaceful world.”

It was previously announced that Geraldine Brooks won in the Lifetime Achievement category. Brooks is now part of an illustrious group of past Lifetime Achievement honorees including Studs Terkel (The Good War), Elie Wiesel (Night), and Nicholas Kristof (Half the Sky). The awards ceremony will take place on on Sunday, November 7th in Dayton, Ohio.