March 13, 2018
Amid sexual harassment allegations, Sherman Alexie declines an award and delays his paperback
by Taylor Sperry
One of the latest shocks in the #MeToo movement has been the sexual harassment allegations against Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award–winning author of beloved classics The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, among other works that made him a fixture of the literary community.
The accusations were first reported a couple of weeks ago (here’s John Maher’s write-up for Publishers Weekly, and a more in-depth report from Lynn Neary for NPR) and escalated quickly. On February 28, Alexie released a statement apologizing for “poor decisions” and “things that have harmed other people” but denied “physically or verbally threatening anybody or their careers.”
According to AP National writer Hillel Italie, Alexie has also declined the Carnegie Medal by the American Library Association and asked that his publisher, Hachette Book Group, delay the paperback publication of his 2017 memoir You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, which was scheduled for April.
Taylor Sperry is an editor at Melville House.