History was made across the pond when Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black woman to be awarded the Booker prize, a literary award given to novelists in Britain since 1969.
Evaristo’s win also makes her the first black British author to be given the award.
“I’m just so delighted to have won the prize,” the Girl, Woman, Other author said at a press conference, reports The Guardian.
Chairman Peter Florence called Girl, Woman, Other, which features several connected stories about Black women at the intersection of race and feminism, “groundbreaking.” He added that there was “something utterly magnificent about the full cast of characters.”
Evaristo shares her honor, which includes prize money valued at £50,000 or $63,000, with Margaret Atwood. The Canadian author was honored for her novel, The Testaments. Atwood previously earned a Booker prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.
“Yes, I am sharing it with an amazing writer, but I am not thinking about sharing it,” Evaristo said. “I am thinking about the fact that I am here and that’s an incredible thing considering what the prize has meant to me and my literary life, and the fact that it felt so unattainable for decades.”
When asked at a press conference if she’d rather have the full monetary prize, Evaristo replied: “What do you think? Yes, but I’m happy to share it. That’s the kind of person I am.”
The author plans to use the money towards her mortgage.