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Bernie makes Booker shortlist

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Brunel’s Bernardine Evaristo today soared onto this year’s Booker Prize shortlist when judges whittled down the 13 contenders to six.

The creative writing professor is up against former Booker Fiction Prize winners Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie with her eighth novel Girl, Woman, Other.

Bernardine and the five others shortlisted will get £2,500 each and a special bound edition of their book.

But winning the £50,000 prize can send less-known writers’ careers rocketing. The week before Anna Burns won the 2018 prize, she sold 963 copies of her novel Milkman. The week after, she sold 9,446.

Margaret Atwood’s shortlisted novel The Testament, which publishes on Tuesday 10 September, is a long-awaited follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale. And fellow former winner Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte retells Cervantes’ Don Quixote set in today’s USA.

Londoner Bernardine also shares shelf with Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, Nigerian Chigozie Obioma and Lucy Ellman whose novel, Ducks, Newburyport, is a massive 998-page-long stream of consciousness.

Girl, Woman, Other tells the tangled tales of a group of British black women whose interwoven lives span several decades. Judge and author Xiaolu Guo called it “impressive and fierce… there is never a single moment of dullness”.

The winner will be revealed on 14 October.

Find out more about creative writing at Brunel University London

Reported by:

Hayley Jarvis, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268176
hayley.jarvis@brunel.ac.uk