Bernardine Evaristo is a British author of eight works of fiction. Her novel, Girl, Woman, Other, won the Booker Prize in 2019, British Book Awards: Fiction and Author of the Year 2020, and the Indie Book Award for Fiction 2020. It was also one of Barack Obama’s 19 Favourite Books of 2019. In June 2020 she became the first woman of colour and the first black British writer to assume the No.1 spot in the UK paperback fiction charts. Evaristo’s writing also includes short fiction, drama, poetry, essays, literary criticism, and projects for stage and radio. Her 2013 book Mr Loverman was a groundbreaking exploration of Britain’s older Caribbean community.
Two of her books, The Emperor’s Babe (2001) and Hello Mum (2010), have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. Bernardine’s first published book, the now out of print Island of Abraham (1994), is a collection of poetry. She is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and the vice-chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
Evaristo is a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour. She founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2012 and The Complete Works poets development scheme (2007–2017). She co-founded Spread the Word writer development agency (1995–present) and, in the 1980s, Britain’s first black women’s theatre company, Theatre of Black Women. She also organised Britain’s first major black theatre conference, Future Histories, for the Black Theatre Forum, in 1995 in the Royal Festival Hall, and Britain’s first major conference on black British writing, Tracing Paper, in 1997, at the Museum of London.
Manifesto is Bernardine Evaristo’s intimate and inspirational, no-holds-barred account of how she did it, refusing to let any barriers stand in her way. She charts her creative rebellion against the mainstream and her life-long commitment to the imaginative exploration of ‘untold’ stories. And drawing deeply on her own experiences, she offers a vital contribution to current conversations around social issues such as race, class, feminism, sexuality, and ageing.
This is a unique book about staying true to yourself and to your vision. It’s about how to be unstoppable – in your craft, your work, your life. It is Bernardine Evaristo’s manifesto for never giving up.
This is Britain as you’ve never read it.
This is Britain as it has never been told.
From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope…
Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he’s lived in Hackney since the sixties. A flamboyant, wise-cracking local character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for quoting Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father and grandfather – but he is also secretly homosexual, lovers with his great childhood friend, Morris.
His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away?
Mr Loverman is a ground-breaking exploration of Britain’s older Caribbean community, which explodes cultural myths and fallacies and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
It’s a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street.
The boy’s mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?
What if the history of the transatlantic slave trade had been reversed and Africans had enslaved Europeans? How would that have changed the ways that people justified their inhuman behavior? How would it inform our cultural attitudes and the insidious racism that still lingers today? We see this tragicomic world turned upside down through the eyes of Doris, an Englishwoman enslaved and taken to the New World, movingly recounting experiences of tremendous hardship and the dreams of the people she has left behind, all while journeying toward an escape into freedom.
A poignant and dramatic story grounded in provocative ideas, Blonde Roots is a genuinely original, profoundly imaginative novel.
Meet Stanley Williams: Single, in his thirties, grieving the death of his Jamaican father and wondering if there is more to life than his nine-to-five banking job in a sky-high glass menagerie.
Enter Jessie O’Donnell: barmaid, former singer-cum-comedienne, and desperate to get into her rusty old Lady Niva and hit the freeway across Europe.
The unlikely pair begin an electrifying odyssey that weaves in and out of history, colliding with the forgotten heroes of Europe’s past. Shakespeare’s mysterious ‘Dark Lady of the Sonnet’s, Pushkin and his Ethiopian great-grandfather and the mixed-race Allessandro de’ Medici of Florence are all ready to have their voices heard, and Stanley and Jessie do what they can to hang on for the ride…
Londinium, AD 211. Zuleika is a modern girl living in an ancient world. She’s a back-alley firecracker, a scruffy Nubian babe with tangled hair and bare feet – and she’s just been married off a fat old Roman. Life as a teenage bride is no joke but Zeeks is a born survivor. She knows this city like the back of her hand: its slave girls and drag queens, its shining villas and rotting slums. She knows how to get by. Until one day she catches the eye of the most powerful man on earth, the Roman Emperor, and her trouble really starts…
Silver-tongued and merry-eyed, this is a story in song and verse, a joyful mash-up of today and yesterday. Kaleidoscoping distant past and vivid present, The Emperor’s Babe asks what it means to be a woman and to survive in this thrilling, brutal, breathless world.
Lara is a powerful semi-autobiographical novel-in-verse based on Bernardine Evaristo’s own childhood and family history. The eponymous Lara is a mixed-race girl raised in Woolwich, a white suburb of London, during the 60s and 70s. Her father, Taiwo, is Nigerian, and her mother, Ellen, is white British. They marry in the 1950s, in spite of fierce opposition from Ellen’s family, and quickly produce eight children in ten years. Lara is their fourth child and we follow her journey from restricted childhood to conflicted early adulthood, and then from London to Nigeria to Brazil as she seeks to understand herself and her ancestry. The novel travels back over 150 years, seven generations and three continents of Lara’s ancestry. It is the story of Irish Catholics leaving generations of rural hardship behind and ascending to a rigid middle class in England; of German immigrants escaping poverty and seeking to build a new life in 19th century London; and of proud Yorubas enslaved in Brazil, free in colonial Nigeria and hopeful in post-war London. Lara explores the lives of those who leave one country in search of a better life elsewhere, but who end up struggling to be accepted even as they lay the foundations for their children and future generations. This is a new edition of Bernardine Evaristo’s first novel Lara, rewritten and expanded by a third since its first publication in 1997.
BernardineEvaristo.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program where Amazon will pay us a commission for linking to products on Amazon.com and affiliated sites.