Bernardine Evaristo

Professor Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other, the first black woman and black British person to win it. It was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller for five weeks, spending 44 weeks in the Top 10. It has sold over a million copies in the English language is a bestseller in many other languages. The author of essays, journalism, literary criticism, poetry and drama, her other novels include Blonde Roots, Soul Tourists, Lara and The Emperor’s Babe. Her two non-fiction books are Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (2021) and Look Again: Feminism (2021), which is part of Tate Britain's 'Look Again' series. The TV adaptation of her novel, Mr Loverman, will be broadcast on BBC 1 Autumn 2024. Other adaptations are in development.

She has initiated many arts’ inclusion projects to address under-representation including the Complete Works Poetry Mentoring scheme for poets of colour (2007-2017), the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012-2022) and the Royal Society of Literature/Sky Arts mentoring scheme. She co-founded Theatre of Black Women (1982-88) and Spread the Word, London's writer's development agency (1995 -). Since 2020 she has been the curator of Black Britain:Writing Back for Penguin Random House, re-publishing books from the past, eleven thus far dating back to 1909. She is the current Literature Mentor for the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Initiative.

The subject of two documentaries: The Southbank Show (Sky Arts, with Melvyn Bragg) in 2020, and Imagine (BBC 1, with Alan Yentob) in 2021, Bernardine has been featured widely in the media.

She has chaired many prizes including the Nero Gold Prize (2024), the Forward best books prizes (2023) and the Women's Prize for Fiction (2021). She has received many awards and honours including the British Book Award’s Fiction Book of the Year & Author of the Year, and she has been on the UK Black Powerlist for the past four years. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and she has received many honorary doctorates and fellowships including being made an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, an International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a Fellow and the current President of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow and the current President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.