Dayton Literary Peace Prize : Lily Brooks-Dalton

  Dates & times
  • Fri, 11/10/2023 - 5:00pm
  Category Arts & Writing
  Age Groups Adult, Teen


Friday, November 10, 2023

Start time: 5:00pm – Duration: 1 hour

Location: Wright Library Community Room or Join Virtually



Author Lily Brooks-Dalton, Dayton Literary Peace Prize Fiction Runner-up, to speak at Wright Library

Wright Memorial Public Library is pleased to welcome Lily Brooks-Dalton, 2023 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Fiction runner-up, for a public conversation moderated by Miami Valley writer and educator Gary Mitchner.

Wright Library’s Community Room seating capacity is 80, so please arrive early to ensure your seat and register for door prizes: copies of Brooks-Dalton's latest book, The Light Pirate, and tickets to the Saturday Dayton Literary Peace Prize authors event. The interview will also be livestreamed through Zoom for those who wish to Join Virtually.

This event is made possible with support from the Wright Memorial Library Foundation and is free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to bring their own book for signing following the program, but books will not be sold at the event.

About the Presenter

Brooks-Dalton was recognized by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation for her second novel, The Light Pirate, a near-future survival story about a young woman born during a hurricane who must navigate an apocalyptic landscape. “My understanding of peace is that it never arrives alone," Brooks-Dalton said upon winning the award. "Without the company of chaos or conflict, peace is only an abstraction, thin and vaporous. Peace exists most fully in the center of the storm, wrapped in furious winds, held together by discord, and made tangible in terrible, beautiful contrast. I don’t know that there is another way to experience peace, or to write about it.” Brooks-Dalton is also the author of Good Morning, Midnight, which has been translated into seventeen languages and was the inspiration for the film adaptation The Midnight Sky, and the memoir, Motorcycles I’ve Loved, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.


 About the Book

The Light Pirate was named a #1 Indie Next pick for December 2022, a Good Morning America Book Club selection, one of NPR's "Books We Love," and a New York Times Editors' Pick. 

Set in the near future, this hopeful story of survival and resilience follows Wanda—a luminous child born out of a devastating hurricane—as she navigates a rapidly changing world: A “symphony of beauty and heartbreak” (Associated Press).

Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.


About the Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Inaugurated in 2006, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace. The Dayton Literary Peace Prize invites nominations in adult fiction and nonfiction books published within the past year that have led readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.