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How Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker

For years she was told there was no market for her work. But the celebrated author of Girl, Woman, Other proved sceptics wrong

By Rebecca Liu   June 2020

Twenty years ago, Bernardine Evaristo visualised winning the Booker Prize. She had been taking upbeat American-style personal development classes, and decided to set herself what seemed like an impossible goal. Though Evaristo had already begun establishing herself as a poet and novelist in London, drawing the respect of her peers as well as critical praise, she felt far removed from the literary mainstream and her books had yet to crack…

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