Going against the rules and traditions of the award, jury for the 2019 Booker Prize on Monday announced two winner – Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo jointly.
The two winners were narrowed down from a shortlist of six authors. Atwood is recognized for “The Testaments,” a sequel to “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Evaristo won for her book “Girl, Woman, Other.”
The Booker Prize has been shared only twice before, but that was before the early 1990s when the rules were changed to explicitly forbid sharing the prize.
Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges, announced to a shocked audience, “We found that there were two novels that we desperately wanted to win this year’s prize.”
Evaristo’s win makes her the first African-British woman to win the Booker since it began in 1969. At 79, Atwood becomes the prize’s oldest winner. The Canadian author previously won the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin; she becomes the fourth author to have won the prize twice.