TORONTO AUTHOR NAMED RUNNER-UP FOR DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

TORONTO AUTHOR NAMED RUNNER-UP FOR DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE thumbnail

TORONTO AUTHOR NAMED RUNNER-UP FOR DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE

Posted on September 24 by Jo Roberts
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Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe, by Toronto-based writer and anthropologist Jo Roberts, has become the first Canadian publication to place second at the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize, it was announced today. Roberts will be honored at a gala ceremony in Dayton, OH on November 9th, alongside non-fiction winner Karima Bennoune, author of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here.

 “Jo Roberts’ theories on social suffering and memory narrative resonate across history and culture. Readers from every region in the world will find parallels to their own and gain understanding,” writes finalist judge Faith Adiele. “Just as we might be tempted to think there is nothing new to learn about modern Israel and the Palestinian conflict … comes this lyrical and balanced book advocating a path towards reconciliation based on the notion that a fractured relationship can only heal when both parties open themselves to regard the pain of the other.”

Since its 2013 release, Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe has been met with critical acclaim from reviewers of diverse political perspectives. It was also finalist for the 2013 U.S. 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 is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States  and “celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding.” 

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
Jo Roberts photo

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.