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Bernardine Evaristo’s winning streak continues as she dominates two categories of the 2020 British Book Awards: Best Fiction Book of the Year for Girl, Woman, Other (2019) and Best Author of the Year.

She is the first Black author to win Best Author of the Year, the first Black woman and second Nigerian to win the Booker Prize, and the first female writer of color to top the UK fiction paperback chart.

Evaristo has accepted each award with grace and joy at expanding her readership, using her ever-broadening platform to highlight the work of other Black writers and advocate for greater equality in the publishing world.

Two other black writers had much to celebrate as well. Candice Carty-Williams is the first Black writer to win Overall Book of the Year, and Oyinkan Braithwaite is the first Black writer to win Best Crime & Thriller Book of the Year.

In an Instagram post announcing her British Book Award wins, Evaristo writes:

…It’s taken me 40 years to step out of the shadows, but I always believed in myself and loved what I was doing. I didn’t do it for this moment, but this moment is sweet. But — many of you know me as a longstanding literary activist and that doesn’t change with my new platform. You can see my list of 20 recommended black British womxn writers in an earlier (March) post on here, or on Twitter (pinned), or on Facebook (open). I’ve resurrected it this week because I see it as my pleasure and responsibility to shine a light on other writers while enjoying being in the spotlight myself.

View this post on Instagram

Well, blow me down, I won two more prizes this week: British Book Awards Author of the Year and the British Book Award for Fiction (#nibbies). In both cases I am the first person of colour to pick up these laurels. For more on other firsts and my thoughts on why this is shocking in 2020, check out the Guardian coverage. My trophies are en route, but as an extra treat for the Author of the Year prize, I also received an absolutely exquisite custom-made pen (scroll left) by luxury pen brand, Montegrappa, @montegrappaitalia in Italy, designed in the colours of the hardback edition of #girlwomanother. This weekend I am also No 1 in the Top 10 fiction paperback chart for a 3rd time and No 5 for all books. What can I say – never give up if your creativity is your passion, because one day it might be your turn to shine. It's taken me 40 years to step out of the shadows, but I always believed in myself and loved what I was doing. I didn't do it for this moment, but this moment is sweet. But — many of you know me as a longstanding literary activist and that doesn't change with my new platform. You can see my list of 20 recommended black British womxn writers in an earlier (March) post on here, or on Twitter (pinned), or on Facebook (open). I've resurrected it this week because I see it as my pleasure and responsibility to shine a light on other writers while enjoying being in the spotlight myself #writersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #bernardineevaristo #nibbies #britishbookawards #thebookseller #montegrappa

A post shared by Bernardine Evaristo (@bernardineevaristowriter) on

Evaristo also posted on Twitter:

 

As Evaristo says, “Let’s work towards a future where we no longer have these conversations because EVERYONE is included in the narrative.”

Congratulations to Bernardine Evaristo!

 

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One Response to “Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year” Subscribe

  1. Elegbede Inioluwa July 18, 2020 at 9:30 am #

    Wow! Congratulations ma, keep striving and you will reach greater heights in Jesus name.

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