Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Serious Topic

Hi, I know most of the time I'm showing off my unique turn of a phrase, talented writing chops feeble attempts at humor. Today I'm actually being very serious. Feel free to skip if this doesn't appeal to you.

Setting up the background for the discussion:
Yesterday my husband was fixing my app page on my Kindle Fire tablet and when he handed it back a random show had started playing. It was an Oprah interview show on Netflix. It was a special broadcast called When They See Us Now
It dealt with the case of the "exonerated five" who used to be called "the Central park five". I knew all about this case because I lived in NY until 1988 and my parents lived there their whole lives, so I was familiar with a great deal of NYC/NYS affairs. You might have heard it on the news due to the case of the "Central park jogger". I won't rehash the case here because as horrific as her story goes, there was also the imprisonment of five innocent teens.

I'll cut to the chase to explain why I'm bringing this up now. It has to do with news that those in the blogosphere probably heard about this year: the author Linda Fairstein connection. Here's a particular paragraph that is relevant to my post, copied directly from the LA Times news article:

"In November, the Mystery Writers of America announced it was withdrawing its planned Grand Master award for Fairstein, following criticism from authors like Attica Locke, the mystery novelist, who objected to the honor on Twitter.
“I am begging you to reconsider having Linda Fairstein serve as a Grand Master in next year’s awards ceremony. She is almost singlehandedly responsible for the wrongful incarceration of the Central Park Five,” Locke wrote. “Just because she has a flourishing publishing career does not mean we should ignore her past — or her continued unwillingness to accept responsibility for ruining five innocent men’s lives.”

And here is the article about her publisher dropping her books
Which leads us to the question of the day. Would you-- or do you-- boycott certain authors because of what they did in their past that upsets you?

 Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper, #1)
To be succinct: Fairstein is not being judged solely on her part in the case in the past. She is being held accountable for not admitting her errors in judgement and "sticking to her guns" about the criminal cases, even though not a shred of evidence matched the five boys to the woman, and even though a man in prison later admitted to the attack, and his DNA matched the victim. She will not admit mistakes she made this day.

Would you continue to read her books, knowing more about her here? How about fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley a sexual predator who even abused her own children? Or Anne Perry, who admitted and served her time for helping a schoolmate bludgeon the friend's mother to death? There are the numerous male authors who recently were accused of sexual harassment by women, in the news. Do the real life issues surrounding authors play any role in whether you will or won't read them? Or do you keep your entertainment separate from the authors' real lives?
The Face of a Stranger (William Monk, #1)
The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1)
What do you think about all this?

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I'd love to hear your thoughts.. Let's get down to book-chatting!