Charlotte Williams of TheBookseller.com is reporting that Dominican writer Junot Diaz has added yet another accolade to his dossier. The Pulitzer prize-winning, MacArthur genius grant recipient, has won the Sunday Times short story award for “Miss Lora” a story set in 1980s New Jersey. The story tackles sexual relationships between adolescent boys and older women.
Diaz received a £30,000 ($46,000 US) check from novelist and prize judge Joanna Trollope at a ceremony at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.
“Judge Andrew O’Hagan said the story has ‘the feel of a contemporary classic’ and that ‘it echoes in the heart as well as in the mind.’”
Alison Flood of The Guardian (UK) reports:
“The author called ‘Miss Lora’ a ‘challenging’ story to write. ‘We tend, as a culture, to think of boys having underage sex quite differently to how we think of girls. I find that quite disturbing, and wanted to question the logic of that,’ he said. ‘If a boy has sex with his teacher, people under their breath are kind of high-fiving the kid. If a 16- or 15-year-old girl has sex with an older teacher – forget about it. No one’s celebrating. That seemed really strange.’”