On October 14th 2019, the winner of the annual Booker Prize was announced with the shocking twist that it would be shared with two authors instead of one. Winners of the award were Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood for The Testaments (a companion novel for The Handmaid’s Tale) and British author Bernardine Evaristo for the book Girl, Woman, Other. First established in 1959, within the 50 years that this prize has been awarded, it has only been shared twice before, in 1974 and later in 1992. However, after the second time, the rules for the Booker Prize were changed so only one author could win, making this year’s decision truly remarkable. The judges said that after five hours of debate over the six books that had made the shortlist, they came to an impasse where neither book could be chosen as the single winner. On their website the Chair of this year’s judges, Peter Florence, stated that “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.” The prize money of £50,000 will be split between both winners 50/50. Other books that were on the shortlist for the winner were; An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma; Ducks Newburyport by Lucy Ellman; Quichotte by Salman Rushdie; and 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak.
About the books
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
In this brilliant sequel/companion novel for the highly acclaimed The Handmaid’s tale author Margaret Atwood returns and answers all the questions from the first book that readers have had for decades. With the Testament’s the wait is over. Atwood picks up fifteen years after the first book, with three different narrators all from gilead.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Evaristo returns with her eighth novel, Girl, Woman Otherwhich follows the lives and twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and british this book tells their stories of family, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Teeming with life and crackling with energy this book is a love letter to modern Britain and black womanhood.