London: In a historic winMargaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been announced as the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize on Monday night in London.

The two winners were narrowed down from a shortlist of six authors. Atwood won for “The Testaments,” her long-awaited sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and Evaristo won for “Girl, Woman, Other”, which follows the lives of 12 different women.

 

The pair will split the literary award’s £50,000 prize money equally.

This is Atwood’s second Booker Prize and she will be the oldest recipient the award has ever had at 79. Meanwhile, Evaristo will be the first ever black woman to win a Booker Prize.

It’s the third time the Booker Prize has gone to two joint winners. The first instance was in 1974, when it went to to Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton.

“Over an agonising 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,” explained Gaby Wood, the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation on the dual winners.

Last year’s award was given to Belfast-born author Anna Burns, for her coming-of-age story Milkman.