Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo jointly shared the 50th Booker Prize after the judges declared that they “explicitly flouted” the rules of the Booker prize which says that the prize must not be divided. Atwood won the prize for The Testaments, a sequel to her dystopian novel The Handmaids Tale – a Booker Prize winner published in 1986. Bernardine Evaristo who won the prize for Girl, Woman, Other became the first black woman to receive the prize since its inception in 1969.
The Testaments set in the dystopian future stand relevant at a time when different movements worldwide question patriarchy and sexual violence. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo is diverse with twelve main characters from myriad backgrounds celebrating differences and exploring issues.
This year’s shortlist included a balance of both debutants and previous winners. Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman, An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma, and 10 minutes, 38 seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak were the books that made it to the list.
Chaired by Peter Florence, the founder, and director of Hay Festival, the other panelists are former editor and publisher Liz Calder; novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo; writer, broadcaster and former barrister Afua Hirsch; and concert pianist, conductor and composer Joanna MacGregor. The Booker Prize for fiction founded in 1969 will award the winner £50,000.