“The Book of Night Women” wins literary peace prize

Macalester College professor and author Marlon James was named the fiction winner today for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for his book The Book of Night Women.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. It was founded in 2006 as an outgrowth of the Dayton Peace Prize, which commemorates the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords ending the war in Bosnia.

Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium. Dave Eggers book Zeitoun took the prize for non-fiction.

They will be honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney on Sunday, November 7th at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Set during a Jamaican slave revolt at the end of the eighteenth century, The Book of Night Women tells the story of Lilith, a defiant and mysterious woman who pushes at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave. According to a release about the award, “By honestly exploring the cruelty, brutality, and degradation of slavery, James reveals its lasting and devastating impact on mankind.”

James’ book also took home the Minnesota Book Award for novel and short fiction this past year.

Interested in learning more about James and The Book of Night Women? Check out Euan Kerr’s interview here.

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