Finalists for the 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

The finalists for this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prize include several critically acclaimed titles that have already received major recognition in previous contests, including Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House,” which won the National Book Award, and Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son,” which won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize — inspired by the 1995 accords that ended the war in Bosnia — “celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding.” To be eligible for this year’s awards, books must be published or translated into English in 2012.

The winners in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on Sept. 24, and receive $10,000 at a ceremony in Dayton on Nov. 3. Runners-up will receive $1,000. Wendell Berry will receive the foundation’s annual Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.

Here’s a list of the finalists with links to our reviews (where available):


The Round House,” by Louise Erdrich (Random House).

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” by Ben Fountain (HarperCollins).

The Orphan Master’s Son,” by Adam Johnson (Random House).

The Life of Objects,” by Susanna Moore (Random House).

The Coldest Night,” by Robert Olmstead (Algonquin).

The Yellow Birds,” by Kevin Powers (Little, Brown).


Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” by Katherine Boo (Random House).

Pax Ethnica,” by Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac (Public Affairs).

“Burying the Typewriter,” by Carmen Bugan (Graywolf).

Escape from Camp 14,” by Blaine Harden (Viking).

“Devil in the Grove,” by Gilbert King (HarperCollins).

Far From the Tree,” by Andrew Solomon (Scribner).


Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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Cara Kelly · August 21, 2013