Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction 2012
Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction. Acceptance speech for The Sojourn.
Inspiration Behind The Sojourn
On my desk I kept a photograph I have of my grandfather, a boyish-looking seventeen, posing with three other “gunners” of the Austro-Hungarian army with what I would discover later was a makeshift anti-aircraft gun, which the Austrians used unsuccessfully against the British Sopwith Camels that wreaked havoc among the Central Powers troops on the Italian front.
Excerpt from The Sojourn
But it wasn’t until the final weeks, when we began to practice on the rifle range, that our fate, you might say, was sealed, when the training officer discovered that we really could shoot.
A Conversation on The Sojourn
When I first conceived of The Sojourn, it seemed impossible to write anything but an epic work that teemed with characters and spanned generations. But when I considered the lives of my grandparents and thought of how they both out of necessity learned as much how to surrender as to resist in order to survive, the work began to pare itself down quickly, until every tale and anecdote I had ever heard morphed into an amalgam of a single person
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