Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce Off the Radar: A Father’s Secret, a Mother’s Heroism, and a Son’s Quest (Blue Rider Press) by Cyrus Copeland as the 2016 winner of The Chautauqua Prize.

As author of the winning book, Copeland receives $7,500 and all travel and expenses for himself and his family for a one-week summer residency at CHQ from Aug. 7 to 13, 2016. He will host a public reading and a book signing at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the Hall of Philosophy.

Copeland received news of the Prize while abroad, preparing to embark on the Camino de Santiago which, he said, “makes this the first time a blessing was delivered before a pilgrimage.”

"I'm grateful to the book lovers and tastemakers at CHQ,” Copeland said, “and humbled to be in the company of other great authors.”

Off the Radar is a story only Copeland could tell — that of his American father arrested in Iran for spying at the time of the 1979 hostage crisis, then put on trial for his life in a Revolutionary Court. Off the Radar is a memoir and mystery, a spy story and a tale of the relationship between father and son. The book is “an intriguing story well told,” CHQ readers said, lauding it as being an “outstanding” work of “timeless and timely material.”

Copeland attended Haverford College and Villanova University, and received his MBA from Cornell. He is a former advertising executive and the editor of two collections: Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time and A Wonderful Life: 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit. Copeland has appeared on NPR and the BBC and has written about his experiences and the art of remembrance for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Slate and The Huffington Post.

The Chautauqua Prize, this year awarded for the fifth time, is an annual prize that celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts. Previous winners include The Sojourn, by Andrew Krivak (2012); Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan (2013); My Foreign Cities, by Elizabeth Scarboro (2014); and Redeployment, by Phil Klay (2015).

Details on The Chautauqua Prize are available online at ciweb.org/prize. Books published in 2016 will be accepted as submissions for the 2017 prize beginning in September 2016.

With a history steeped in the literary arts, Chautauqua Institution is the home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, founded in 1878, which honors at least nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry every summer. Further literary arts programming at CHQ includes summer-long interaction of published and aspiring writers at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, the intensive workshops of the nationally recognized Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and lectures by prominent authors on the art and craft of writing.