Oct 16, 2019

Joint winners named for Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize after the judges broke their rules by declaring a tie.

Atwood's The Testaments, the Canadian writer's follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale, was recognised alongside Londoner Evaristo's novel Girl, Woman, Other.

The pair will split the literary award's £50,000 prize money equally.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they "couldn't separate" the two works.

Atwood, 79, is the oldest ever Booker winner, while Evaristo is the first black woman to win.

After their names were called, the pair stood arm-in-arm on stage and Atwood joked: "I would have thought I would have been too elderly, and I kind of don't need the attention, so I'm very glad that you're getting some.

"It would have been quite embarrassing for me… if I had been alone here, so I'm very pleased that you're here too."

The award's rules were changed after the last tie in 1992, and organisers told this year's judges they were not allowed to pick two winners.

But after five hours of deliberations, Peter Florence, the chair of the judges, said: "It was our decision to flout the rules.

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