CANADIAN AMONG FINALISTS FOR DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

CANADIAN AMONG FINALISTS FOR DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

Posted on September 8 by Jo Roberts
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A book by Toronto-based writer and anthropologist Jo Roberts has been shortlisted for the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize, it was announced yesterday.  Roberts is the only Canadian among the twelve finalists for the international award, a list that includes Jesmyn Ward, whose novel Salvage the Bones won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction, and David Finkel, noted Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

 “I’m delighted and honoured that my work has been chosen,” said Roberts.

Since its 2013 release, Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe — which examines the impact of competing historical narratives in the Middle East — has been met with critical acclaim from reviewers of diverse political perspectives. It was also finalist for the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards .

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that marked the end of the war in Bosnia, The Dayton Literary Peace Prize “celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding.”  Winners and runner-ups in fiction and nonfiction will be announced on September 24th and will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton, OH on November 9th.

ABOUT JO ROBERTS: Trained in her native England as a lawyer and anthropologist, Jo Roberts is now a freelance writer. For five years she was managing editor of the New York Catholic Worker newspaper, to which she frequently contributed. Her reportage from Israel and from the West Bank has appeared in Embassy, Canada's foreign policy weekly. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

ABOUT CONTESTED LAND, CONTESTED MEMORY: 1948: As Jewish refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, struggle toward the new State of Israel, Arab refugees are fleeing, many under duress. Sixty years later, the memory of trauma has shaped both peoples' collective understanding of who they are.

After a war, the victors write history. How was the story of the exiled Palestinians erased – from textbooks, maps, even the land? How do Jewish and Palestinian Israelis now engage with the histories of the Palestinian Nakba (“Catastrophe”) and the Holocaust, and how do these echo through the political and physical landscapes of their country?

Vividly narrated, with extensive original interview material, Contested Land, Contested Memory examines how these tangled histories of suffering inform Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives today, and frame Israel's possibilities for peace.

Jo Roberts

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
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Jo Roberts

Trained in her native England as a lawyer and anthropologist, Jo Roberts is now a freelance writer. For five years she was managing editor of the New York Catholic Worker newspaper, to which she frequently contributed. Her reportage from Israel and from the West Bank has appeared in Embassy, Canada's foreign policy weekly. She lives in Toronto, Canada.