NEW YORK – Sherman Alexie has declined the Carnegie Medal he received last month, the American Library Association told The Associated Press on Friday.
Alexie was given the $5,000 award for nonfiction for his memoir You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. He has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and issued a statement acknowledging wrongdoing. Jay Asher and James Dashner are among other writers who recently faced similar allegations.
The library association did not have immediate comment about whether the decision was solely by Alexie or whether he had been urged to turn the award down. Attempts to reach Alexie on Friday were not immediately successfully. His publisher, Hachette Book Group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When it announced Alexie’s medal in February, the ALA praised him for writing “a courageous, enlightening, anguished and funny memoir told in prose and poetry that pays tribute to his Spokane Indian mother and reveals many complex traumas and tragedies of reservation life, as well as his own struggles.”
The Carnegie prize, established in 2012, is awarded for fiction and nonfiction. Colson Whitehead, Donna Tartt and Doris Kearns Goodwin are among the previous winners. The library association told the AP on Friday that no nonfiction prize will be given this year. Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach was the fiction winner.