- 15 Oct 19
Evaristo becomes the first ever black woman to win the prize, while 2019 is the first year since 1992 where the prize has been jointly won by two authors.
The Booker Prize for 2019 was awarded to two books last night, October 14, both of which took unique looks at women in society: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other.
The two authors will share £50,000 in prize money.
Led by Peter Florence, director of the Hay Literary Festival, the judges broken the rules for the first time since 1992 to award the Prize, and money, to two writers. At a ceremony in The Guildhall, London, Florence described the winners as “two novels we cannot compromise on. They are both phenomenal books that will delight readers and will resonate for ages to come.”
We’re delighted to announce that the winners of The #BookerPrize2019 are @MargaretAtwood with The Testaments @ChattoBooks and @BernardineEvari with Girl, Woman, Other @HamishH1931 #FinestFiction https://t.co/SQurx2Ky4u pic.twitter.com/zfyGHQIYaX
— The Booker Prizes (@TheBookerPrizes) October 14, 2019
The decision came after a five-hour meeting today between Florence and his fellow judges, publisher and editor Liz Calder, novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo, writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch and concert pianist, composer and conductor Joanna McGregor.
The Testaments is the sequel to Atwood's widely acclaimed dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale. It takes place 15 years after the events in the first novel, and follows the story of three different women who become connected in an attempt to bring the downfall of the theonomic state of Gilead.
Girl, Woman, Other is written from the perspective of 12 women in the UK over the last century. It was described by the judges as “a must-read about modern Britain and womanhood...passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humour. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book.”
Evaristo's novel was widely acclaimed when it was released back in May and was the top choice on several shortlists for winning the prize.
Six authors were shortlisted for the prize this year. The other writers on the list included: Lucy Ellmann for Ducks, Newburyport, Chigozie Obioma for An Orchestra of Minorities, Salman Rushdie for Quichotte and Elif Shafak for 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World.