Professor Bernardine Evaristo is the author of ten books and numerous other works. She won the Booker Prize 2019, the world's most prestigious prize for the novel, for her book Girl, Woman, Other. It also won the British Book Award for Best Fiction and Author of the Year (2020). The novel won the Indie Book Award and it received and was nominated for many other awards and honours. It was a Barack Obama 'Top 19 Book for 2019' and it made over 35 Book of the Year selections including for the New Yorker, Washington Post and the Financial Times. It was a Sunday Times 'Book of the Decade' and a Guardian 'Book That Defined the Decade'. The novel was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller for five weeks, staying in the Top 10 for over 40 weeks.
Bernardine's new books are non-fiction - a memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (Penguin, 2021) and an essay on women of colour in British Art, Feminism (Tate Publishing, 2021). Her other books of fiction and verse fiction include Mr Loverman (Penguin 2013), Hello Mum (2010), Lara (Bloodaxe 2009), Blonde Roots (Penguin 2008) and The Emperor’s Babe (Penguin 2001). Her writing spans drama and other writing for BBC Radio 3 & 4, as well as short fiction, poetry, memoir, theatre drama and essays. She has also undertaken many editorships and writes literary criticism for the national newspapers and magazines. She has edited and guest-edited several publications including the Sunday Times STYLE magazine in July 2020 - with a black women & womxn takeover.
Her writing is focused on African diaspora interests and is characterised by unique temporal, spatial and stylistic experiments that connect and explore the borders of genre, race, gender, culture, history and sexuality. She has accepted over 170 invitations to present her work and ideas internationally and frequently appears at literary events in Britain. She has also judged and chaired many literary prizes and founded The Complete Works poetry development scheme for poets of colour in 2007 and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2011. She is currently a Sky Arts Ambassador and the the curator of the republication of books from the past with Penguin Books, 'Black Britain: Writing Back', with the first six books published in 2021 and the second in 2022.
Her first career was in theatre, studying at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and she later earned her PhD in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has received many honours, awards, nominations & prestigious selections for her books. Two monographs have been published about her writing since 2011.
Her lifetime honours include: a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, lifetime Vice President in 2020 and President-elect for 2022-2026. An International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Honorary Fellow of the English Association; Honorary Fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford. In 2020 she became President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, her first alma mater, having been made a Fellow there in 2018.
In 2009 she was became an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for being ‘a major voice in the multicultural panorama of multicultural British literature’. This was replaced by an OBE in 2020.
Newest selected publications
Evaristo, B. (2011) ''The Book that Changed Me', essay written & read by the author'. [BBC Radio 3.]
Evaristo, B. and Nagra. D. (2010) 'Ten'. Bloodaxe Books. ISSN 10: 1852248793 ISSN 13: 978-1852248796
Evaristo, B. (2010) 'Hello Mum'. Penguin. ISSN 10: 0141044381 ISSN 13: 978-0141044385
Evaristo, B. (2010) 'Wasafiri: Black Britain-Beyond Definition, with co-ed Karen McCarthy Woolf'. Routledge.
Evaristo, B. (2009) 'Lara'. Bloodaxe Books.