The excitement is building in the room as the crowd gathers @brixtonlibrary to hear @BernardineEvari and @DianaEvansOP in conversation
There they are! @DianaEvansOP discusses why she bookends #OrdinaryPeople with the election of #BarackObama and death of #MichaelJackson and says she wanted all people to see themselves in the characters of the book. She also wanted to normalise black lives in fiction
@BernardineEvari says #Amma is loosely based on her younger self, working in theatre in the black feminist culture movement of 1980s. The 12 womxn in #GirlWomanOther are aged between 19-90, have different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, classes etc.
When she started to write #GirlWomanOther she wanted to explore the diversity of black British womanhood and see how many characters she could fit in one book! These 12 women do NOT represent all black British women, there are 800,000 BW in UK and they are all unique!
Both authors talk about the (slow) increase in diversity of book prize judges that means black + diverse writers are better known. But there's still a long way to go & it's sad it has taken so long for a British BW to win #Booker. They both want to bring other writers with them