Pulitzer winner, NBCC winner, MacArthur genius, MIT professor Junot Díaz has won the Sunday Times Short Story Prize -- at £30,000 the world's richest award for a single story -- for "Miss Lora," included in his National Book Award finalist This Is How You Lose Her [Kindle]. He makes an interesting point about the double standard on underage sex. Readers here can probably think of another younger - older dynamic that people "aren't celebrating."
Díaz told the Guardian:
"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."
Díaz said he grew up "with so many young men who had experiences when they were teenagers with older women", and was interested in writing about the issue. "The silence around it is pretty enormous," he said. "I think it is a conversation we need to continue to have."
One of the judges called the story an "instant classic." It appeared in The New Yorker last April.
The other finalists were: Mark Haddon's The Gun; Sarah Hall's Evie; Cynan Jones' The Dig; Toby Litt's Call It 'The Bug' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title; and Ali Smith's The Beholder.