'The Sojourn' by BC's Andrew Krivak
Wins 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (October 1, 2012)—The Sojourn, a stirring novel of brotherhood, survival, and coming-of-age during World War I written by Andrew Krivak, a faculty member in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program at Boston College, has been awarded the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the fiction category. The prize, which is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States, honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding.
The Sojourn (Bellevue Literary Press) tells the story of Jozef Vinich who returns with his father from a 19th-century Colorado mining town to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary only to be uprooted again by World War I. Nominated for a National Book Award and inaugural winner of the Chatauqua Prize earlier this year, the novel recreates a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, Hungarians, and Germans fought on the same side in the most brutal war to date, and evokes the longing for the American dream amid the unfolding tragedy in Europe.
"The Sojourn came out of the stories my grandmother and my mother (her name was Irene, which means 'peace') told of a time and a place in 'the old country' during the Great War, when peace was not easily found, yet men and women lived and died hoping for it. So when I sat down to write my first novel, I decided that it would be a story about that war, but also about that peace, and those small acts of surrender in people’s lives that become profound moments of salvation," said Krivak. "To have this small act of a book honored with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is humbling, and beyond my greatest expectations."
Krivak also is the author of A Long Retreat: In Search of a Religious Life, a memoir about his eight years in the Society of Jesus, and editor of the award-winning The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 1902-1912. More on his works is available at his website, andrewkrivak.com
Launched in 2006, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize already has established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, it awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.
To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild won this year's prize for nonfiction. A full list of the 2012 finalists can be found here.
Winners will be honored at a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Nick Clooney on Sunday, November 11, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.
Noting that all of this year’s honorees explore the lasting impact of war, Sharon Rab, founder of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation said it was fitting that this year’s ceremony falls on Veterans Day.
"This Veterans Day, we will honor five writers whose work examines the many ways that war challenges individual morality," said Rab. "As Americans wrestle with the ethical dilemmas inherent to being citizens of a nation at war, these authors present us with role models and object lessons to help guide us."
—Office of News & Public Affairs; with announcement information provided by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.