Watch Bernadine Evaristo Talk About Womanhood and Othering on 'BBC: Focus on Africa'
The 2019 Booker Prize winner speaks to BBC about her acclaimed book 'Girl, Woman, Other'.
Earlier this week, British-Nigerian author Bernadine Evaristo was awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for her book, Girl, Woman, Other. Although the Booker Prize forbids that the award be given to more than one individual, the committee reportedly felt that two novels were deserving of this year's prize. While Evaristo made history as the first ever Black woman to win the prize, many were not pleased that she had to share the prize with Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. Recently, in an interview with BBC: Focus on Africa, Evaristo spoke about womanhood, othering in terms of race, sexuality, class and immigration status.
Explaining why she chose to focus on othering in her book, Evaristo says that, "It's about womanhood. It's about the transition from womanhood to adulthood. And it's about the ways in which we are othered as women of color in certain societies, in the UK for example. She goes on to add that, "The women in the book are othered in terms of their sexuality because there are characters on the queer spectrum in the book...they're a diverse group of women. There's no sort of homogeneity among them at all."
While Girl, Woman, Other is Evaristo's eighth book, this is the first time her work has been seriously considered for the prize. The interviewer asks her what she feels needs to be done further in the publishing world to ensure that the stories of Black women writers are recognized and talked about much more. Evaristo responds by saying that the issue is with the publishing industry and who gets to become a publisher in what is a admittedly a White industry.
Towards the end of the interview, Evaristo speaks about the brilliance of the current crop of African authors and the importance of the Caine Prize for African Fiction.
Watch the full interview below: