In a deviation from convention, the Booker Prize for 2019 was awarded to two authors – Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo. While Atwood was awarded the prestigious award for “The Testaments,” a sequel to “A Handmaid’s Tale,” Evaristo won for her book “Girl, Woman, Other.”
And the two women have created history by winning the prize. At 79, Atwood is the oldest recipient of the award. This is her second Booker Prize – she had earlier won the award in 2000 for her work “The Blind Assassin.” Evaristo is the first black woman to have ever won the prize.
This is only the third time in the history of the Prize that two authors have been declared joint winners. As a matter of fact, the awards changed its rules in 1993 explicitly state that “the prize may not be divided or withheld” after the second two-author win.
But this time was different. And the jury admitted that they were not able to make a decision about the winner.
“Over an agonizing five hours, the 2019 Booker Prize judges discussed all of the much-loved books on their shortlist, and found it impossible to single out one winner,” said Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, in a statement.
As a result, the prize money of 50,000 pounds will be split between the two recipients.
Lucy Ellmann, Chigozie Obioma, Salman Rushdie, and Elif Shafak made it to the shortlist of the awards.0