British writer Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of seven books including her new novel, Mr Loverman, about a 74 yr old Caribbean London man who is closet homosexual (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2013 & Akashic USA, 2014). Her writing is characterised by experimentation, daring, subversion and challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities. Her books range in genre from poetry, verse-novels, a novel-with-verse, a novella, short stories, prose novels, radio and theatre drama, and literary essays and criticism. Her eighth book will be a collection of her short stories, published by in Italian by Carocci in 2015. The first monograph on her work, Fiction Unbound by Sebnem Toplu, was published in August 2011 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The second will be published by Carocci in 2015.
Her awards include the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, EMMA Best Book Award, Big Red Read, Orange Youth Panel Award, NESTA Fellowship Award and Arts Council Writer's Award. Her books have been a Best Book of the Year 13 times in British newspapers and magazines and The Emperor's Babe was a Times 'Book of the Decade'. Hello Mum has been chosen as one of twenty titles for World Book Night in 2014. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she received an MBE in 2009.
Her books are: MR LOVERMAN (Penguin, 2013), HELLO MUM (Penguin 2010), LARA (Bloodaxe 2009), BlONDE ROOTS (Penguin 2008), SOUL TOURISTS (Penguin 2005), THE EMPEROR'S BABE (Penguin 2001), the first version of LARA (ARP 1997), ISLAND OF ABRAHAM (Peepal Tree, 1994). For more information visit BOOKS. Her verse novel The Emperor's Babe was adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2013 and her novella Hello Mum was broadcast as a Radio 4 play in 2012. Her writing - essays, articles and non-fiction - has appeared in many publications.
She has edited and guest edited several publications. She is the co-editor of two recent anthologies and a special issue of Wasafiri magazine: Black Britain: Beyond Definition, which celebrated and reevaluated the black writing scene in Britain. In 2012 she was Guest Editor of the winter issue of Poetry Review, Britain's leading poetry journal, in its centenary year. Her issue, Offending Frequencies, featured more poets of colour than had ever previously been published in a single issue of the journal, as well as many female, radical, experimental and outspoken voices.
She is also a literary critic for the national newspapers such as the Guardian and Independent and has judged many literary awards including the National Poetry Competition, TS Eliot Prize, Orange First Novel Award and the Next Generation Poet's List. In 2012 she was Chair of the Caine Prize for African Fiction and Chair of The Commonwealth Short Story Prize. That year she also founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Brunel University and designed and teaches the anuual six month Guardian¬-University of East Anglia 'How to Tell a Story' fiction course in London.
She has toured widely in the UK and since 1997 she has accepted invitations to take part in over 100 international visits as a writer. She gives readings and delivers talks, keynotes, workshops and courses and she has held visiting fellowships and professorships.
Bernardine Evaristo was born in Woolwich, south east London, the fourth of eight children, to an English mother and Nigerian father. Her father was a welder and local Labour councillor and her mother a schoolteacher. She was educated at Eltham Hill Girls Grammar School, the Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama, and Goldsmiths, University of London, where she earned a PhD in Creative Writing. She spent her teenage years acting at Greenwich Young People's Theatre. She lives in London with her husband.