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.

Charles Dickens’ Contribution to Science to Feature in Exhibition

By | Authors, Culture, Literary Events, Literary Places, News | No Comments
Charles Dickens: Man of Science is a current exhibition running at the Charles Dickens Museum until November 11th and the exhibition is looking at the author’s contribution to science, and notably medicine.

Dickens astute observations on human behaviours means he spotted many illnesses and their symptoms before they were recognised by the medical community and his descriptions so accurate that they can be used to build correlation between symptoms and disease.
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Some Surprising Facts about J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan

By | Authors, Children's Literature | No Comments
J. M Barrie (9th May 1860 – 19th June 1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the writer who brought us Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.

After being born and educated in Scotland, Barrie moved to London where he wrote more plays and novels. It was here he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (The Little White Bird), and to write Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, a fairy play about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy. Read More

Mary Shelley to Be the Focus of ‘Genius’ Season 3

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In 2017, National Geographic launched a new TV series called Genius, which explores the lives of famed historical figures one might well label a genius. The first season followed Albert Einstein, the second Pablo Picasso, and it has now been confirmed that a third season is in the works and will follow the gothic writer Mary Shelley.

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left an indelible mark on generations of imaginations,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP, global development and production for National Geographic Global Networks. “Equally inspiring is the story of Shelley’s relentless innovation, coupled with her desire to live on her own unconventional terms despite immense societal and cultural obstacles.” Read More

Quotes on Life and Literature by Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer (16th June 1938) whose first book was published in 1962. Through the years Oates has published over forty novels, plays and novellas and many volumes of short stories, poetry and nonfiction too.

Oates is one of the most celebrated American authors of our time and has won many awards including the National Book Award for her novel Them (USUK), two O. Henry Awards and the National Humanities Medal. She has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize six times. Read More

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Samoan artist and writer Sia Figiel has a new book out this year that tackles human stereotypes and taboos.

Sia was heavily influenced by the Somoan culture she grew up in and names her greatest inspiration as Samoan novelist and poet, Albert Wendt. She is best known for her earlier novels Where we Once Belonged and Girl in the Moon Circle.

Her latest novel tackles difficult subjects and attempts to dispel certain myths and stereotypes and, she says, only took her 6 weeks to write!

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What keeps Judith Kerr writing after 50 years of success?

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Judith Kerr is a writer and illustrator who is best known for her debut children’s book The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Published in 1968, The Tiger Who Came To Tea is so popular that it has never been out of print. 30 books have been created- all written and illustrated by Judith- and 50 years have passed, but Judith is still drawing and writing every day.

What makes a successful artist keep working well into their 90s?

The Telegraph gave some answers in an exclusive interview with Kerr at her home- the one with the very same kitchen as featured in her debut book The Tiger Who Came To Tea. 

Here are some of our favourite quotes from that interview.

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