Breaking the Booker Prize rules, the judges named both Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo winners of the 2019 Booker Prize on Monday night in London.
Atwood won for “The Testaments,” her long-awaited sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Evaristo won for “Girl, Woman, Other.”
The Booker Prize has been shared only twice before, but that was before the early 1990s when the rules were changed to explicitly forbid sharing the prize. Peter Florence, chair of this year’s judges, announced to a shocked audience, “We found that there were two novels that we desperately wanted to win this year’s prize.”
This is the second Booker win for Atwood, a 79-year-old Canadian writer who won in 2000 for “The Blind Assassin.” In the prize’s 50-year history, she is only the fourth author to have won twice, but over the years, several of her novels, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” (1985), have been shortlisted.