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Oldest and first black female Booker Prize winners

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Oldest and first black female Booker Prize winners

Oldest and first black female Booker Prize winners

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been jointly awarded the Booker Prize, with judges flouting the rules to name both winners.

Gracie Jerome reports.

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Oldest and first black female Booker Prize winners

Breaking the rules to crown two winners - the Booker judges have made Prize history, giving the literature award to the oldest and first black female winners.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIR OF BOOKER PRIZE JUDGES, PETER FLORENCE, SAYING: "Margaret Atwood for 'The Testaments' and Bernadine Evaristo for 'Girl, Woman, Other'." Evaristo's novel tells a tale of life in Britain for 12 mainly black female characters.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR BERNADINE EVARISTO, SAYING: "I will say that I am the first black woman to win this prize (...) I hope that honor doesn't last too long.

I hope that other people come forwards now." The award honors the 'best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland.

Seventy-nine-year-old Canadian Margaret Atwood is the Prize's oldest winner, for the sequel to her 1985 Handmaid's Tale, "The Testaments." (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR MARGARET ATWOOD, SAYING: "I'm very surprised.

I would have thought that I would have been too elderly." They'll share the almost $63,000 prize between them.

It's not the first time two writers have been given the Booker Prize, but it is the first time it's happened since the rules changed to stop a joint win in 1993.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR BERNADINE EVARISTO, SAYING: "Thank you very much to the Booker Prize for this and I'm absolutely delighted to share it with the legend that is Margaret Atwood."




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