Honorary graduates 2023
Bernardine Evaristo OBE, FRSL, FRSA (DLitt)
Wednesday 19 July 2023 11:45am
Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other, the first black woman and black British person to win it. It was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller for five weeks, the first woman of colour to achieve this position in the paperback fiction chart, spending 44 weeks in the Top 10. It has sold over a million copies and there are over 66 translations of her books in over forty languages.
The author of essays, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and drama, her novels include Mr Loverman, Hello Mum, Blonde Roots, Lara and The Emperor’s Babe. Her memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (2021) was published in 2021, and an essay book, Look Again: Feminism (2021) was published as part of Tate Britain’s major rehang.
She has initiated many arts’ inclusion projects including The Complete Works Poetry Mentoring scheme (2007-2017) and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012-2022). She co-founded Spread the Word, London's writer's development agency (1995 -) and is the curator of Black Britain: Writing Back for Hamish-Hamilton/Penguin, re-releasing books from the past.
The subject of two documentaries: The Southbank Show (Sky Arts, with Melvyn Bragg) in 2020, and Imagine (BBC 1, with Alan Yentob) in 2021, she has received over sixty awards and honours such as two British Book Awards and an MBE (2009) and OBE (2020). She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, an Honorary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, an International Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and President of the Royal Society of Literature.