Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Congrats to James McBride!

Finalists for the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize were announced this month, and among them is local author James McBride! McBride's most recent book, Song Yet Sung, is a finalist for the prize, which is a U.S. literary award that recognizes "the power of the written word to promote peace."

Song Yet Sung tells the story of runaway slave Liz Spocott, who breaks free from her captors in the days before the Civil War. She escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland's eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with the Code, a a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz's flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate.

Other fiction finalists for this year's prize include Say You're One of Them, by Uwem Akpan; Peace, by Richard Bausch; The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich; Beijing Coma, by Ma Jian; and Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner.

For a detailed list of all finalists, both fiction and nonfiction, click here; learn more about the Dayton Literary Peace Prize here.

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