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Two Florida authors are finalists for Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Guests wait along Main Street USA for Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom.
(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel)
Published Sep. 11, 2017

The finalists for the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been announced, and Florida can boast two authors on the fiction list.

Robert Olen Butler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who holds the Michael Shaara Chair in Creative Writing at Florida Sate University, is nominated for his 16th novel, Perfume River. Its plot revolves around a Florida family whose lives are still affected by the Vietnam War. He lives in Tallahassee.

Patricia Engel, who received an MFA from Florida International University and is a professor of creative writing at the University of Miami, is a finalist for her second novel, The Veins of the Ocean, about a young woman whose brother is on death row. Engel lives in Miami.

The other fiction finalists are Annie Proulx (Barkskins), Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing), Peter Ho Davis (Fortunes) and Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad).

Nonfiction finalists are Ben Rawlence (City of Thorns), J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy), Dawn MacKeen (The Hundred-Year Walk), Kao Kalia Yang (The Song Poet), David Wood (What Have We Done) and Eli Sanders (While the City Slept).

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding. The only literary peace prize given in the United States, it carries an award of $10,000 for each winner.

Previous honorees include Wendell Berry, Louise Erdrich, Barbara Kingsolver, Marilynne Robinson and Elie Wiesel. This year's winners will be announced Oct. 3. For information, go to daytonliterarypeaceprize.org.

Contact Colette Bancroft at cbancroft@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8435. Follow @colettemb.

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