Atwood, Evaristo joint winners of Booker Prize
LONDON, Oct 15: Judges tore up the rule book on Monday, awarding the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction jointly to Canadian author Margaret Atwood for "The Testaments" and Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo for "Girl, Woman, Other".
Atwood becomes only the second female author to win the award twice, sharing the £50,000 ($62,800, 60,000 euros) prize at the 50th anniversary ceremony at London's Guildhall.
The award has been shared twice before, in 1974 and 1997, when the rules were changed to supposedly prevent it from happening again.
"I'm very surprised, I would have thought I would have been too elderly," said Atwood, who was honoured for her best-selling sequel to her 1985 dystopian classic "The Handmaid's Tale".
"I don't need the attention, so I'm very glad that you're getting some," she said to Evaristo, joking that as "a good Canadian, we don't do famous, we think it is in bad taste, so it would have been embarrassing if I'd been alone here".
Evaristo responded that it was "so incredible to share this with Margaret Atwood, who is such a legend.
"I am the first black woman to win this prize," she added, to cheers from the audience.
She late told reporters she was "happy to share it, I'm a sharing person," adding the prize money would go on paying off her mortgage.
'Resilience and resistance'
The title of best work of English-language fiction published in the United Kingdom and Ireland has launched careers and courted controversy since its creation in 1969. -AFP