From Publishing Perspectives:
In what will be for some a controversial move, the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction has been given to both Canada’s Margaret Atwood and the UK’s Bernardine Evaristo at the annual ceremony at London’s Guildhall.
Atwood is being honored for The Testaments (Chatto & Windus), the seequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, part of the Gilead body of material that has given Atwood’s career explosive new life with the success of the Hulu television adaptation and that series’ new content.
Atwood now is the fourth author to win the Booker twice. Her The Blind Assassin won in 2000.
. . . .
Girl, Woman, Other is Evaristo’s eighth work of fiction. She also is a writer of essays, drama and content for BBC radio.
Despite the consternation and/or glee of this “joint prize,” to use the foundation’s favorite term for it, this is not the first time the judges have gone literarily rogue and insisted on a split prize. Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton won in 1974 and Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth won in 1992.
In 1993, the rules were changed so that only one author could win the prize. In an era in which rules don’t seem to matter in many high places, that 1993 regulation now has been cast aside.
Booker Foundation literary director Gaby Wood is quoted tonight by the Booker’s press people, saying, “Over an agonizing five hours, the 2019 Booker Prize judges discussed all of the much-loved books on their shortlist, and found it impossible to single out one winner.
“They were not so much divided as unwilling to jettison any more when they finally got down to two, and asked if they might split the prize between them.
“On being told that it was definitively against the rules, the judges held a further discussion and chose to flout them. They left the judging room happy and proud, their twin winners gesturing towards the six they would have wanted, had it been possible to split the prize any further.”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG says rules are for the little people. The ones who live in Omaha or Burnley.