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World

AFP
October 15, 2019

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo joint winners of Booker Prize

World

AFP
Tue, Oct 15, 2019

LONDON: Judges tore up the rule book on Monday, awarding the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction jointly to Canadian author Margaret Atwood for "The Testaments" and Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo for "Girl, Woman, Other".

Atwood becomes only the second female author to win the award twice, sharing the £50,000 ($62,800, 60,000 euros) prize at the 50th anniversary ceremony at London´s Guildhall.

The award has been shared twice before, in 1974 and 1997, when the rules were changed to supposedly prevent it from happening again.

The 79-year-old Atwood, who wore a badge of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, held aloft the arm of her fellow winner as they walked to the podium together.

"I´m very surprised, I would have thought I would have been too elderly," said Atwood, who was honoured for her best-selling sequel to her 1985 dystopian classic "The Handmaid´s Tale".

"I don´t need the attention, so I´m very glad that you´re getting some," she said to Evaristo, joking that as "a good Canadian, we don´t do famous, we think it is in bad taste, so it would have been embarrassing if I´d been alone here".

Evaristo responded that it was "so incredible to share this with Margaret Atwood, who is such a legend.

"I am the first black woman to win this prize," she added, to cheers from the audience.