Pulitzer Prize Board Investigating Misconduct Claims Against Author Junot Díaz

By May 11, 2018Authors, News

The Pulitzer Prize board has stated that it will begin investigating accusations of sexual misconduct that have been made against its chairman, author Junot Díaz. The writer became chairman earlier this year in April but has since stepped down from the position, though he will remain on the board. Author Zinzi Clemmons has accused him of forcibly kissing her six years ago when she was a student.

The Pulitzer Prize winning author has since taken responsibility for his actions and, as the BBC reports, he has apparently welcomed Pulitzer’s investigation and will cooperate with it in full. Just last month, Díaz penned an article for The New Yorker magazine, which revealed that he was raped as a child. He has also issued a statement in response to Ms. Clemmons’s allegations, saying:

“I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue,” he said.

“I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries.”

Mr. Díaz was confronted by Ms. Clemmons at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 4 May. She noted the article he had written and then asked why he had treated that way. She also implied she was not the only woman he had assaulted and added that she believes the article he wrote was published in order to divert attention from his own misconduct.
Several more female authors have accused Mr. Díaz of aggressive behaviour and of misogynistic comments. This is the latest allegation of sexual misconduct in the world of writing. As we reported, the poet Amy K. Blakemore has accused an editor at Penguin Random House of assault and the Nobel Prize for literature is being postponed this year following sexual assault accusations against the husband of a member of the board.

PEN America to Sue Donald Trump for Restricting Freedom of Speech

By | Authors, News, Political | No Comments
Writers’ group PEN America, which consists of many well known writers and novelists, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York against President Donald Trump for ‘violations of America’s First Amendment’.

The group is attempting to “stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes”. The First Amendment of the US constitution protects freedom of speech and PEN aren’t the only group to voice concerns about how Trump has attempted to shut down journalism.
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PG Wodehouse to Be Honored with a Memorial at Westminster Abbey

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Fans of PG Wodehouse will be pleased to learn that, 43 years after his death, the author is set to be memorialised by Westminster Abbey. The news was especially exciting to the the Wodehouse Society and by Ben Schott, the author of a new Jeeves and Wooster story, who described the Jeeves and Wooster creator as the “personification of a very specific breed of English writing.”

Schott stated that when the news was announced that the Dean of Westminster had given permission for a memorial to Wodehouse in the abbey, “there was a ripple of joy that it was happening, but also puzzlement that it hadn’t happened before.”
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John Cunliffe author of Postman Pat dies

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The beloved author of Postman Pat, John Cunliffe, has died aged 85.

Postman Pat has been a part of many British children’s lives since 1981 when the first story was published. Cunliffe took inspiration from the Lake District when creating Postman Pat’s home- the fictional village of Greendale- with its rolling hills and dales, and small farms and villages.

Pat, and his feline friend Jess, drive about the village delivering letters, working through problems, and getting into the occasional scrape. The stories were commissioned by the BBC to produce a series of animations, which proved popular for over 40 years!

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New Book Explores the Relationship Between Writers and their Cats

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
Released last month, Writers and Their Cats does exactly what it says on the tin. Writers are a solitary sort, at home all day, and so it does make them perfect for keeping house pets and cats and writing kind of go hand in hand. I’ve often wondered how many authors have a feline muse, draped across their lap as they type and now it seems this new book has all the answers.

This volume celebrates forty five famous writers including Mark Twain, Haruki Murakami, and Ursula K. Le Guin, who have shared their home and writing space with a feline friend. There are photographs and stories all exploring that special bond between wordsmith and mouser.

Here’s a taster:

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Haruki Murakami Withdraws His Book from This Year’s Alternative Nobel Prize

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Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami has requested that his 2017 book Killing Commendatore be withdrawn from this year’s alternative Nobel Prize in Literature award. This year sees an alternative award called the New Academy Prize in Literature, as the original has been postponed this year following a sexual misconduct scandal.

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