This year’s Booker Prize has been announced in London today and for the first time in almost 30 years, the prize has been jointly awarded to two authors – Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and Bernadine Evaristi for Girl, Woman, Other.
The judging panel (Peter Florence, Liz Calder, Xiaolu Guo, Afua Hirsch and Joanna MacGregor) said that The Testaments and Girl, Woman, Other were “fully engaged novels, they are both linguistically inventive, they are adventurous in all kinds of ways. 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”.
Evaristo’s win makes her the first black woman to win the Booker since it began in 1969 and the first black British author. At 79, Atwood becomes the prize’s oldest winner. The Canadian author previously won the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin; she becomes the fourth author to have won the prize twice.
The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.