Booker Prize winner hopes to build ties between African and British readers

Bernardine Evaristo has become the first black woman to win the Booker Prize

JOINT WINNERS: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo (Photo: Booker Prize)

AUTHOR AND Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo is hoping her award-winning novel will help challenge perceptions of black British people among African and British readers.

In an interview with Reuters on Saturday (October 26), the 60-year-old author said she wanted to give readers a chance to see the various experiences that “we have in the UK.”

“For people on the continent who don’t necessarily have access to British society I would think a book like Girl, Woman, Other would give them insights into the multiplicity of experiences that we have in the UK,”

Girl, Woman, Other tells the stories of 12 characters living in Britain who are mainly black women between 19-93.

Evaristo became the first black woman to win the prize, which she shared with author Margaret Atwood.

The author, who lives in Britain and is of Nigerian and British heritage attended the Ake literary festival in Lagos and discussed the importance of diversity in literature.

“We need to see ourselves reflected in the society we’re living in. The fact that I have to draw attention to the fact that we are pretty absent from literature is a real problem because I think a lot of people don’t notice that,” she said.

Evaristo also revealed that  she is in talks over the rights for film and theatre adaptations of Girl, Woman, Other.

“I think this would be great in the theatre. Twelve women on stage would be amazing.

“I wouldn’t want to run it or write it. The company who took it would take care of the writing. I might work with the writer but not writing it myself,” she added.

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