Posted on 11/29/2018 at 12:30 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The running debate over how much weight to give an author’s life beyond his or her literary efforts has manifested yet again.

The Mystery Writers of America has reversed its decision to grant Linda Fairstein its top literary prize, the Grand Master Award, next year.

As a writer, Fairstein is best known for her bestselling Alexandra Cooper mysteries, but as a prosecutor (her career before becoming an author), she gained notoriety for her work in the 1989 Central Park jogger case.

That, says Shelf Awareness, caused quite a stir on social media — the five minority teenagers convicted thanks to Fairstein and her co-workers were later found to have been wrongfully imprisoned.

Fellow author Attica Locke criticized Fairstein for not apologizing for or expressing remorse over the wrongful convictions, in a lengthy Twitter thread.

The MWA issued a statement Tuesday saying the board would discuss Locke's concerns, then announced today that it was withdrawing the award.

"When the MWA Board made its selection, it was unaware of Ms. Fairstein’s role in the controversy," its statement read in part. "After profound reflection, the Board has decided that MWA cannot move forward with an award that lacks the support of such a large percentage of our members."

You can read the full news release here.

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Awards, Mystery, Scandal

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