Ohio University faculty member named runner-up for international literary peace prize
ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 14, 2006) -- Ralph Waldo Emerson said that "The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war."
Ohio University English Department faculty member Kevin Haworth likely agrees with that statement. His book, "The Discontinuity of Small Things," recently was named runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The newly created award honors international writers whose works focus on peace and is an outgrowth of the Dayton Peace Prize, which commemorates the 1995 peace accords that ended the war in Bosnia.
Francine Prose, author of 13 novels and a National Book Award Finalist, won the fiction prize for her book "A Changed Man," with Haworth taking honors as runner-up in that category. Recipient of the nonfiction prize was London resident Stephen Walker, for "Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima." Pulitzer-prize-winning author Studs Terkel received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement.
"Studs Terkel is obviously a legendary figure in the literary community," said Haworth, a visiting faculty member in the English department and coordinator for special programs. "It was really an honor to be among such incredibly accomplished authors."
Haworth's novel is set in Copenhagen, Denmark, and charts the course of the 1943 German occupation as daily annoyances like propaganda pamphlets give way to the much darker vision of kidnappings, deportations and impending extermination. Haworth traces these events through the lives of four very different characters, linking each to a faction of the Copenhagen resistance.
"The prize recognizes that literature has a role to play in social change and in responding to conflicts that exist globally," Haworth said. "I'm thrilled that the judges see my book as contributing."
The Dayton Peace Prize is particularly prestigious, said peace prize committee chair Sharon Rab, because it is one of only three literary peace prizes in the world for adult literature. The committee is donating the 53 books that were considered for the prize to a library in Sarajevo and to the Dayton International Peace Museum, she said.
"We had books from Africa and Asia and India and Iraq," she said, explaining the importance of understanding the world from other people's perspectives. "We are trying to make the international word as accessible as possible."
"The Discontinuity of Small Things" also won the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation Prize for Jewish Fiction by an Emerging Writer this year. Haworth, who grew up in the Catskills region of upstate New York, earned his master's in fine arts in fiction from Arizona State University. Winner of the David Dornstein Prize for Young Jewish Writers and the Permafrost Fiction Prize, Haworth is now working on his second novel.
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