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Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo jointly win 2019 Booker Prize

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London | October 15, 2019 10:41:40 AM IST
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and British author Bernardine Evaristowere were named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize on Monday night here after the judges broke the rules and declared a tie.

Atwood became the fourth author to win the prize twice, this time for The Testaments, which is a sequel to her acclaimed work The Handmaid's Tail. The Testaments is the third sequel to have won the prize, following Pat Parker's The Ghost Road (1995) and Hilary Mantel' Bring Up the Bodies (2012).

Atwood last won the award in 2000 for her work The Blind Assassin. She had also been shortlisted for four of her other books, namely the Handmaid's Tale (1986), Cat's Eye (1989), Alias Grace (1996) and Oryx and Crake (2003).

Evaristo, who bagged the award for Girl, Woman, Other, became the first black woman to claim the prize since it began in 1969. The said work is her eighth novel.

"This ten-month process has been a wild adventure. In the room today we talked for five hours about books we love. Two novels we cannot compromise on. They are both phenomenal books that will delight readers and will resonate for ages to come," said the chair of the judges, Peter Florenc.

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of 12 very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

The Testaments is set more than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, in a time when while the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, the signs of its ruin from within are evident.

The winners were chosen by a panel of five judges: Peter Florence (Chair), the founder and director of Hay Festival; Liz Calder, a former fiction publisher and editor; Xiaolu Guo, novelist, essayist and filmmaker; Afua Hirsch, writer, broadcaster and former barrister; and Joanna MacGregor, a concert pianist, conductor and composer.

The two works were chosen from 151 submitted books. (ANI)

 
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