Published: Thu, October 17, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Margaret Atwood, Bernardine Evaristo named joint winners of Booker Prize


This year's Booker Prize goes against the rules and traditions of the award by naming both Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo as joint winners on Monday.

She is the first black woman to take the prize and Atwood, at 79, is the oldest.

"It would have been quite embarrassing for a person of my age and stage to have won the whole thing and thereby have kept a younger one, at different stage of their career, from going through that door", said Atwood, who at 79 is the oldest-ever Booker victor. She said, "I would have thought I would have been too elderly, and I kind of don't need the attention, so I'm very glad that you're getting some".

Over her distinguished career, Atwood has won many awards, including the 1996 Giller Prize for "Alias Grace" and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S.

"Our consensus was that it was our decision to flout the rules", he said.

"We explained this to the Booker people, they said they wouldn't allow it", he added. Her eighth book Girl, Woman, Other was the piece that got her on the list.

Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma made the shortlist for An Orchestra of Minorities - his second novel after The Fishermen, which was shortlisted in 2015.

Exposure to unhealthy food increase with age ― UNICEF
Around 43 percent children under the age of five are malnourished in Nepal, according to a report published by UNICEF . The discussion will revolve on how to make their food products healthier, particularly for children.


Atwood, who won the Booker in 2000 for "The Blind Assassin", had been the bookmakers' favourite to win the coveted trophy for a second time with her follow-up to "The Handmaid's Tale".

"Atwood's "The Testaments" had been the bookmakers" favourite to scoop the award.

Rushdie's newest work is impressed by the traditional "Don Quixote" by 16th century Spanish creator Miguel de Cervantes.

The "very funny" Duchess of Cornwall has expressed her passion for reading during a meeting with the dual Booker Prize winners.

Girl, Woman, Otheris a multi-stranded narrative which gives voice to the experience of being a black British woman through 12 interwoven stories ranging from Newcastle in 1905, through London 1980, Oxford in 2008 and Northumberland in 2017.

"There is an abundance of humour, of political and cultural engagement, of stylistic daring and astonishing beauty of language, " he said. Atwood is also one of two authors to be shortlisted six times alongside the late Iris Murdoch. Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton's Holiday shared the prize in 1974, as did Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient and Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger in 1992, prompting organizers to explicitly forbid a jury from dividing or withholding the prize. The Booker Prize - worth about US$63,000 - recognises the best novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. "Now it looks more politically urgent than ever before". And, breaking a firm rule, the judges awarded it as well to Bernardine Evaristo, a British writer.

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