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Author Bernardine Evaristo on four decades of perseverance

British author Bernardine Evaristo poses with her book 'Girl, Woman, Other' during the photo call for the authors shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.
British author Bernardine Evaristo poses with her book 'Girl, Woman, Other' during the photo call for the authors shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

In 2019, British author Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other.” She’s the first Black woman to do so in the award’s 53-year history.

But before that, she had a long career writing plays, poetry, and short stories centered around the African diaspora.

Her new memoir, “Manifesto,” is a story of perseverance:

When I won the Booker Prize in 2019 for my novel Girl, Woman, Other, I became an ‘overnight success’ — after forty years working professionally in the arts. My career hadn’t been without its achievements and recognition, but I wasn’t widely known. The novel became a #1 bestseller sold in many foreign languages and received the kind of attention I had long desired for my work. In countless interviews, I found myself discussing my route to reaching this high point after so long. I said I felt unstoppable, because it struck me that I had been just this, ever since I left my family home at eighteen to make my own way in the world.

We talk with Evaristo about finding her voice and never letting it go.

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