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    N. Scott Momaday awarded Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

    Dan Sheehan

    July 22, 2019, 12:21pm

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday has been named as this year’s winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award—a lifetime achievement award celebrating literature’s power to foster peace, social justice and global understanding.

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    The pioneering Kiowa novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet, and academic—who has devoted his life to preserving Native American oral and cultural traditions—became the first Indigenous writer to win the Pulitzer Prize when his lyrical novel about a young man named Abel who returns to his New Mexico reservation after fighting in WWII, House Made of Dawn, took home the award in 1969. House Made of Dawn would go on to be credited with leading a renaissance in Native American literature.

    Momaday, a UNESCO Artist for Peace and an Oklahoma poet laureate, is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas and was honored with the 2007 National Medal of Arts for “introducing millions worldwide to the essence of Native American culture.”

    “The history of human experience is in many ways a history of dysfunction and conflict, and literature, because it is an accurate record of that history, reflects not only what is peaceful, but what is the universal hope and struggle for peace,” Momaday said in his statement. “Literature and peace are at last indivisible. They form an equation that is the definition of art and humanity.”

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