Margaret Atwood wins second Booker in unorthodox tie verdict

Brenda Watkins
October 17, 2019

This year's Booker Prize goes against the rules and traditions of the award by naming both Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo as joint winners on Monday. Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker victor, while Evaristo, 60, is the first black woman to win the award since its creation in 1969.

This year's shortlist featured six novelists - four of them women - born across four continents. "Our consensus was that it was our decision to flout the rules and divide this year's prize to celebrate two winners".

According to the Chairman of the jury 2019 Peter Florence, they deliberated for 5 hours, and are unable to compromise with these two novels.

In her acceptance speech, Evaristo said she hoped it would not be long before another black woman won the prize. "It would have been quite embarrassing for me if I had been alone here, so I'm very pleased that you're here too".

Atwood won for her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, titled The Testaments. "A girl, a woman, all the rest" - her eighth art book.

In The Testaments, Atwood weaves together the stories of three female narrators in Gilead, a religious autocracy in what was formerly the US.

Rushdie's newest work is impressed by the traditional "Don Quixote" by 16th century Spanish creator Miguel de Cervantes.

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Florence, founder and director of the Hay Festival and Chair of the Booker Prize judging panel this year, said: "The common thread is our admiration for the extraordinary ambition of each of these books".

Girl, Woman, Otheris a multi-stranded narrative which gives voice to the experience of being a black British woman through 12 interwoven stories ranging from Newcastle in 1905, through London 1980, Oxford in 2008 and Northumberland in 2017.

"There is an abundance of humour, of political and cultural engagement, of stylistic daring and astonishing beauty of language, " he mentioned.

She has published seven previous books but is less known than her co-winner.

Every of the shortlisted authors acquired GBP 2,500 and a specially-bound version of their e-book. It has been split between two winners twice before, most recently in 1992, when Michael Ondaatje's "The English Patient" and Barry Unsworth's "Sacred Hunger" shared the trophy.

The Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and revealed within the United Kingdom or Eire. Earlier this year, the Crankstart charitable foundation took over funding of the prize and its name was again shorted to the Booker Prize. For the most effective experiences & opinion on politics, governance and extra, subscribe to LiiStudio on Telegram.

The 79-year-old Atwood, who wore a badge of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, held aloft the arm of her fellow victor as they walked to the podium together.

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