Bernardine Evaristo

Stuart Simpson / Penguin Books

Bernardine Evaristo has been named Author of the Year at the 2020 British Book Awards, with her Booker-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other also being crowned Book of the Year in the Fiction category.

Speaking of her wins, the judges said:

“The ‘revolutionary moment’ (Guardian) of the Booker win was the culmination of a long literary career, during which Bernardine has consistently shared her richly distinctive, endlessly innovative voice. She has since used her platform to advocate for a better, more inclusive publishing business, and a more equal society.”

Girl, Woman, Other, published last year, tells the story of 12 mostly black British women, aged 19 to 93, who are drawn from varied cultural backgrounds, classes and sexualities. The book "dazzled" the judges, who praised Bernardine’s "experimental" and "innovative" writing style.

Tweeting about her success, Evaristo posted that she was "happy to just win two awards at the British Book Awards," while celebratating the fact that the awards collided with 10 books by people of colour in the Top 10 bestsellers chart. "We can no longer be ignored," she wrote, linking to titles she recommended from her "UK sister writers."

Also winning big at this year’s ceremony was Bernardine Evaristo’s joint-Booker winner Margaret Atwood, whose The Testaments took home two accolades: Audiobook of the Year and Publicity Campaign of the Year. Narrated by Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard and Mae Whitman, with an introduction from Margaret Atwood herself, the judges called the audiobook “an equal to the book itself – not a derivative, nor a competitor, or an alternative; it is a different thing of equal value".

The British Book Awards are one of the UK publishing industry’s leading awards, held in association with The Bookseller magazine. 

Book-ish, in Crickhowell, Wales, won Independent Bookshop of the year. On their Twitter account, the shop's owner posted: "It's been rather overwhelming, I've missed my bookselling crew hugely this evening and I cannot wait to celebrate properly with all of our supporters and pompom wavers."

The British Book Awards are one of the UK publishing industry’s leading awards, held in association with The Bookseller magazine. 

Find all this year's winners here

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