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News > World

Pulitzer Keeps Junot Diaz On Board of Directors

  • Junot Diaz of Dominican descent presented his book,

    Junot Diaz of Dominican descent presented his book, "This Is How You Lose Her", telling EFE in an interview at the time "I like to explore masculinity, moreover Caribbean (masculinity)." | Photo: EFE

Published 8 May 2018

Dana Canedy of the Pulitzer Prizes says, "we have spoken" with Pulitzer winner Diaz and the organization has elected to not dismiss him from their board of directors.

The Pulitzer Prizes say they are keeping Junot Diaz on the board.

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Pulitzer administrator, Dana Canedy says "we have spoken" with Diaz about the sexual harassment allegations that have emerged over the past few days and the organization has elected to not dismiss him from their board of directors.

"Junot ... remains a board member," Canedy told a Washington Post blog.

Diaz, who has been a Pulitzer Prize Board member since 2010 after winning the distinguished literary award in 2008 for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," was accused by author Zinzi Clemmons of forcibly kissing her when she was a graduate student several years ago.

Clemmons first made the claim at a panel discussion that Junot was a part of last Friday at the Sydney Writers' Festival. She later recounted the incident on her Twitter account.  

Since Clemmons came forward two other widely published women - Carmen Maria Machado and Monica Byrne - followed suit tweeting their own stories of Junot berating them. Machado recounts that: "During his tour for This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz did a Q&A at the grad program I'd just graduated from. When I made the mistake of asking him a question about his protagonist's unhealthy, pathological relationship with women, he went off for me for twenty minutes." The author of Her Body & Other Parties went on to tweet that Junot’s comments at the public event, "slid into bullying and misogyny."

Monica Byrne alleges that Diaz shouted "rape" in her face after she disagreed with him about something they were discussing. She said his response was "completely bizarre, disproportionate, and violent."  

The allegations were sparked by an April publication in the New Yorker by Junot - The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma - in which he reveals he was twice raped by a male "grownup that I truly trusted."  

In the wake of the allegations, Junot stepped down as a panelist in the Australian conference and released a statement via the New York Times: "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. 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."

Canedy says, "We’re in touch with Junot and he has issued a statement that we will let speak for itself. … I think at this point that’s all we’re prepared to say."

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