August 18, 2010 / 5:16 PM / 7 years ago

Author Geraldine Brooks to receive Dayton literary prize

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NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Geraldine Brooks, a journalist and Pulitzer prize-winning historical fiction author who wrote 2008's well-received "People of the Book" set in war-torn Sarajevo, has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for lifetime achievement, organizers said on Tuesday.

Brooks, 54, is a former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent who covered regions of the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans before reporting for "The New Yorker" on human interest stories emerging in the aftermath of the breakup of former Yugoslavia.

Her historical novels included the U.S. civil-war saga "March," based on the novel "Little Women" that won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and "Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague" based on the history of the small British town of Eyam.

Brooks, who divides her time between her native Sydney, Australia and Massachusetts, said in a statement the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, held "particular meaning to me."

"I covered the fighting in the Balkans as a journalist and I know what peace can mean to a civilian population that has been besieged and violated by years of war," she said in a statement.

Brooks will be commemorated in a ceremony on November 7. Nominees for the fiction and nonfiction categories will be announced in September. (Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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