Colm Tóibín wins literary peace award in the US

Irish novelist, journalist and essayist Colm Tóibín is this year's winner of a US lifetime achievement award that celebrates the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize officials named Tóibín, whose wide range of work has drawn from his native Ireland, his life as a gay man and his travels as an international journalist, for the Richard C Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.

It is named after the late US diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnia peace accords reached in Ohio.

Among his novels are The Master, depicting the life of the famed writer Henry James; Brooklyn, a coming-of-age story about an Irish immigrant later made into an Oscar-nominated film; and the recent House Of Names, his reimagining of a Greek tragedy.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation co-chair Sharon Rab said Tóibín's writings "remind us of shared humanity and the possibility of reconciliation or simply of understanding, which are the first steps to making peace".

"Our (writers') aim is to reach the reader's imagination, have an effect on the nervous systems of other people," Tóibín, 62, said in a statement in response to winning the award.

"Good sentences offer us a way to imagine life in all its strangeness and ambiguity and possibility, alert us to the power of the imagination to transform and transcend our nature, offer us a blueprint not only for who we are but for who we might be, who we might become."

Previous winners include Studs Terkel, Taylor Branch, Gloria Steinem and Elie Wiesel.

The award carries a $10,000 (€8,700) cash prize.

Finalists for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in fiction and non-fiction will be announced on September 13.


More in this Section

Plans for College Green pedestrian plaza rejected

Roma supporter awaits fate over Liverpool fan Sean Cox's 'catastrophic injuries'

Charlie Flanagan apologises to Maurice McCabe on behalf of State

Gardaí arrest woman in connection with fatal shooting of Jamie Tighe Ennis

Breaking Stories

This is how to stay healthy as a new parent – according to The Body Coach

A question of taste: Sinead Dunphy

Ten to see at Cork Film Festival

Women’s Enterprise Day: Go forth and be successful

More From The Irish Examiner