Pulitzer Prize board probes author Junot Diaz over misconduct allegations

May 11 (UPI) — The Pulitzer Prize board has authorized an independent investigation into author Junot Diaz over allegations of misconduct.

The author is accused by author Zinzi Clemmons of forcibly kissing her six years ago when she was a student.

Diaz said he “welcomed” the probe and would fully cooperate with investigators, the Pulitzer Prize board said in a statement.

The author, who was elected chairman at the board’s April meeting, asked to relinquish his new role. However, Diaz remains on the board.

Diaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Last month, Diaz penned an essay for The New Yorker in which he wrote for the first time about being raped as a child.

Diaz said through his literary agent he would “take responsibility for his past.”

“That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath,” Díaz’s statement said. “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.”

Diaz will be replaced on a temporary basis by Eugene Robinson, the board’s previous chairman.

Last week, the Swedish Academy announced it was holding off on announcing its Nobel Prize in Literature until next year over allegations of sexual assault.

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