Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo Win Booker Prize

Brenda Watkins
October 17, 2019

IN a shock decision, the Booker Prize has been split between two authors: Canadian Margaret Atwood, and British author Bernardine Evaristo, the first black woman to win.

For the best English-language novel, Margaret Atwood for Covenants and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other were honored.

The judges said they strongly wished both the authors to separate the GBP 50,000 award at a gala ceremony at Guildhall right here.

Evaristo is the first black woman to get the award, while Atwood is a second-time victor as well as the oldest person to get it at 79 years of age.

"It would have been quite embarrassing for me... if I had been alone here, so I'm very pleased that you're here too".

Peter Florence, the head of the judges, said they had been told "quite firmly" that they could only pick one victor.

Despite the fact that the rules of the competition say that the award may only be bestowed on a single individual each year, the judging panel chose to make an exception on this occasion and declare a tie after more than five hours of deliberations on Monday, Efe news reported.

He said: "The more we talked about them, the more we treasured them and wanted them both as winners".

Industry insiders predict "The Testaments" will be one of the year's bestsellers. Returning to the totalitarian, patriarchal Gilead, it is narrated by Aunt Lydia, one of the handmaids' instructors, and two teenage girls.

By turns witty and horrifying, the story follows a handmaid called Offred, one Gilead's few remaining fertile women who are forced into sexual servitude in a desperate attempt to repopulate the climate-ravaged world. This is handsome in its depth and exploration of the world of Gilead. "You can say what's the point of rules but there will always be rebellions", she said.

"Now it looks more politically urgent than ever". He said that "there is something utterly magical" about the 12 characters from many walks of life who narrate "Girl, Woman, Other".

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The Booker Prize Foundation said it "found it impossible" to pick only one of them to be its victor.

Florence said he did not believe the "power or the value" of the Booker "resides exclusively in the cash". "They address the world today and give us insights into it and create characters who resonate with us, and will resonate with us for ages".

"We explained this to the Booker people, they said they wouldn't allow it", he added.

Atwood said in her acceptance speech that neither of them had expected to win.

With this win, Evaristo, 60, has become the first black woman to take home the Booker Prize, an honour which she said she hopes 'doesn't last too long'.

Evaristo, who is of Anglo-Nigerian heritage, is the first black woman to take the trophy.

Still, Atwood is trudging ahead with her high-wattage book tour, posing for magazine covers, chatting up talk-show hosts and regaling crowds at events in Canada, the USA and the United Kingdom. She was made an MBE in 2009 for services to literature. The experimental element mainly comes from the unorthodox punctuation, often dispensing with quotation marks and capital letters.

Florence, founder and director of the Hay Competition and Chair of the Booker Prize judging panel this yr, said: "The identical old thread is our admiration for the extraordinary ambition of every of those books".

The Booker Prize has been shared only twice before, but that was before the early 1990s when the rules were changed to explicitly forbid sharing the prize. The said work is her eighth novel. I support the means by which the judges arrived at their decision.

The judges reached out to the Foundation twice about choosing two winners and was told "absolutely not", according to the BBC.

The judges deliberated again. "We tried voting, that didn't work".

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