Barbara Kingsolver to receive lifetime achievement award
First awarded in 2006 and based on the peace accords drawn up in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war in Bosnia, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is presented to draw attention to works of literature, both fiction and nonfiction, that expand understanding of other peoples and cultures. Studs Terkel, Geraldine Brooks and Elie Wiesel are previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award, now named for Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. diplomat who was essential in negotiating the Dayton Peace Accords and who passed away in December.
Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" was a bestseller, with Oprah Winfrey's help. She wrote a chronicle of her family's yearlong effort to eat only local foods in 2007's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." She won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel "The Lacuna." And back in 1993, her novel "Pigs in Heaven" won the L.A. Times Book Prize.
The Holbrooke Award will be presented at a gala Nov. 13 in Dayton, when the winners of this year's Dayton Literary Peace Prize are announced.
"I'm very moved by both the legacy and the aspirations of this prize," Kingsolver said in a statement. "It will be an honor to stand in the heart of the country and celebrate peace."
She told the Minneaoplis Star-Tribune that promoting understanding was an unplanned part of her work. "When I'm writing, I'm thinking about craft, I'm thinking about story, about character, and the narrative art. I know, to stand back and watch, you might think that a writer is sort of directing an arrow straight into another person's heart, but that's not how it goes at all."
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Barbara Kingsolver at the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. Credit: Associated Press Photos