A statement from Sujata Massey

Of course, I will accept Max Allan Collins’ apology for his comments at the 2019 Shamus Awards. Max says he did not intend emotional harm to any particular person or persons, and I believe him. And it is important to remember from this “kerfuffle,” as Max described it, that language is powerful.

Singling out a subgroup of award-nominated writers as foreigners carries a message of otherness, especially when the PWA membership is so heavily white male. We all need to listen if someone comes up to privately share about how they interpreted our language. We should also be willing apologize to such truth tellers if we have dismissed them in the moment.

I’m extraordinarily grateful for the valiant colleague who spoke up after the Shamus dinner—and thankful to all of you, my dear friends, for standing up yesterday and today in defense of diverse mystery writers.

I am also very happy that Kristen Lepionka won a Shamus award for WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE in our shared category of best novel. And to all the other winners and nominees: you are awesome, and I want you to enjoy your success, too.

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