Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman Other has been shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The Booker Prize-winning novel, centered around the lives of twelve, mainly black British women, has enjoyed critical acclaim since its release last year. Evaristo is the seventh and sixteenth African to shortlisted and longlisted respectively for the prize.

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Last year’s shortlist with Oyinkan Braithwaite and Diana Evans marked the first time in the prize’s 25-year history that two Africans were represented.

Evaristo is up against fellow Booker Prize winner Hillary Mantel for The Mirror & The Light, the final novel in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and Natalie Haynes for A Thousand Ships, Irish-British author Maggie O’ Farrell for Hamnet, and the American novelists Angie Cruz for Dominicana, and Jenny Offill for Weather.

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Bernardine Evaristo is clearly thrilled by the news. See her statement on Twitter below.

The judges for the prize are Baroness Martha Lane Fox (chair), and the writers Scarlett Curtis, Viv Groskop, Paula Hawkins, and Melanie Eusebe.

“We are all living in challenging, sad and complex times so incredible stories provide hope, a moment of escape and a point of connection now more than ever,” said Fox. “Choosing the shortlist was tough—we went slowly and carefully and passions ran high—just as you would want in such a process. But we are all so proud of these books—all readers will find solace if they pick one up.”

The winner will be announced on 9 September at an award ceremony in London. The ceremony was originally due to take place on 3 June, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Congratulations to Bernardine Evaristo!