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.
Jazmin Truesdale has been a proud nerd all her life, loving comic books, science fiction, and action movies, but always looking for some positive representation within those entertainment spheres. As one may imagine the worlds of graphic novels and comic books are very straight-white-male-centric, with shallow female characters. and few depictions of non-white women.
Jazmin, with her entrepreneurial mind and passion for cultural diversity, began creating characters she would want to read about and, with the help from an illustrator, her universe was born. It has not been an easy journey- finding an illustrator who knew how to draw Black women’s bodies was one particular hurdle to overcome, however Jazmin’s drive and focus ensured her goal became a reality.
The author, who has sold more than 70 million books during her career claims that her husband, Lawrence Kenyon was lacing her food with poison from 2014 until they split last year. She says the poison left her with clumps of hair falling out, crumbling teeth, tremors and back pain, all unexplained by doctors until tests showed unusually high levels of lithium in her blood.
She claims her husband was helped by his assistant Kerrie Ann Plump and her IT specialist Paco Cavanaugh to carry on the scheme and says that her husband laced her food while Cavanaugh siphoned hundreds of thousands off her bank accounts.
Born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City to Jewish parents of Lithuanian and Polish descent. When Susan was five years old her father died and several years later her mother married a US Army Captain, Nathan Sontag, giving Susan the name we remember her by. Despite being raised by Jewish parents, Sontag stated that she did not have a religious upbringing and was in her 20s before she entered a synagogue.
Before he created the writer-persona of Dr Seuss, Geisel was an artist of another kind. In his spare time he created sculptures of interesting and strange creatures, using parts of real animals. Of course it is not as grotesque as it sounds- the animal parts were given to Theodor after the animals died of natural causes. His father was the superintendent of parks in Massachusetts at the time when a young Geisel was working as a fledgling author and illustrator. When zoo and park animals crossed the rainbow bridge, Geisel’s father sent him the various animals’ parts to help him create some whacky characters.
Horns, antlers, beaks, and all sorts were used by Geisel to build some of the most fantastical animals that, unsurprisingly, look like they have jumped straight out of a Dr Seuss picture book.
The author of And We’re Off, and memoir Choose Your Own Disaster, offered to stand at the back of a funeral with a massive black umbrella, looking mysterious. For a small fee, of course.
Fellow authors and humorists of Twitter, including our favourite Neil Gaiman, got involved to either take her up on the offer or to join the enterprise. A surprising amount of people were up for it, prompting Schwartz to promote her latest book in place of Venmo donations.
Born in Kentucky to parents Sallie Caldwell and Samuel Hegan, Alice was drawn to creative pursuits from childhood and loved drawing and writing poetry and short stories. Alice spent much of her career advocating for the rights of the underprivileged. She lived most of her life in Louisville, which is where she met her husband, Cale Young Rice who was also an author, dramatist and poet.