Controversies over Awards: Et tu, Booker? 


This year both the Nobel and the Booker prizes have been surrounded by controversies. The Booker Prize announced two winners — Margaret Atwood for The Testaments and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other.

While rulings had been made earlier to rule out the eventuality for such an occurrence , a CNN report says: “This will only be the third time that a dual award has been given. In fact, the award changed its rules in 1993 to clearly state that ‘the prize may not be divided or withheld’ after the second two-author win.”

The £50,000 will be shared by the two writers.

Public opinion expressed in tweets said: “My only booker take is that it is a shame that the first black woman to win has to share the glory” and “The Booker has simultaneously delegitimized its own worth and diminished the achievements of a woman of color with this rousing double win.”

But what did the authors say?

Evaristo said:”I am the [only] black woman to win this prize. I hope that honour doesn’t last too long. I hope that other people come forwards now,” 

And Atwood joked: “I would have thought that I would have been too elderly and I kind of don’t need the attention, so I’m very glad that you’re getting some.”

Read more about the two writers and their reactions in The Guardian.

 

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