Ethiopian authors, Maaza Mengiste and Dinaw Mengestu have been shortlisted for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the fiction category. Maaza Mengiste made the finalists list for her book, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, while Dinaw Mengestu was shortlisted for his book, How to Read the Air.
Their books were listed alongside three other finalists, namely The Surrendered,” by Chang-rae Lee; The Gendarme, by Mark Mustian, and Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne. Five other books will also compete for the non-fiction category.
The winner of the prize, the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States, is set to be announced on September 20, 2011.
Launched in 2006, the Dayton Literary Peace award includes a $10,000 prize to each winner. It was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia.
To be eligible, English-language books had to be published or translated into English in 2010 and address the theme of peace on a variety of levels.
“This year’s finalists help readers to see pressing political issues through the eyes of individuals whose lives are inextricably bound up in the larger world around them,” said Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. “Each work, in its own way, reminds us that even the most personal decisions can have a profound effect on the lives of people halfway around the globe and far into the future.”
For more information about the finalists and award, go to www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.