Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo
28 May 1959
Eltham, London, England
|Education||Eltham Hill Grammar School for Girls|
|Alma mater||Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama; Goldsmiths College, University of London|
|Occupation(s)||Novelist, critic, poet, playwright, academic|
|Notable work||Lara (1997)|
The Emperor's Babe (2001)
Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
|Awards||Booker Prize, 2019|
Indie Book Award for Fiction 2020
British Book Awards: Fiction and Author of the Year 2020
Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other, jointly won the Booker Prize in 2019 alongside Margaret Atwood's The Testaments, making her the first woman with Black heritage to win the Booker.[a][b](born 28 May 1959) is a British author and academic. Her novel
Evaristo is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and President of the Royal Society of Literature, the second woman and the first person with Black heritage to hold the role since it was founded in 1820.
Evaristo is a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour. She founded the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, 2012–2022, and initiated The Complete Works poetry mentoring scheme, 2007–2017. She co-founded Spread the Word writer development agency with Ruth Borthwick (1995–present) and Britain's first black women's theatre company (1982–1988), Theatre of Black Women. She organised Britain's first major black theatre conference, Future Histories, for the Black Theatre Forum, (1995) at the Royal Festival Hall, and Britain's first major conference on black British writing, Tracing Paper (1997) at the Museum of London.
Evaristo has received more than 77 honours, awards, fellowships, nominations and other tokens of recognition. She is a lifetime Honorary Fellow of St Anne's College, University of Oxford and International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2021, she succeeded Sir Richard Eyre as President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. Evaristo was Vice-Chair of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) and in 2020 she became a lifetime vice president, before becoming president (2022–2026). She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's 2009 Birthday Honours, and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours, both for services to literature.
Early life and career
Evaristo was born in Eltham, south-east London, and christened Bernardine Anne Mobolaji Evaristo. She was raised in Woolwich, the fourth of eight children born to an English mother, Jacqueline M. Brinkworth, of English, Irish and German heritage, who was a schoolteacher, and a Nigerian father, Julius Taiwo Bayomi Evaristo (1927–2001), known as Danny, born in British Cameroon, raised in Nigeria, who migrated to Britain in 1949 and became a welder and the first black councillor in the Borough of Greenwich, for the Labour Party. Her paternal grandfather, Gregorio Bankole Evaristo, was a Yoruba Aguda who sailed from Brazil to Nigeria. He was a customs officer (d. 1927). Her paternal grandmother, Zenobia Evaristo, née Sowemima (d. 1967), was from Abeokuta in Nigeria.
Evaristo was educated at Eltham Hill Grammar School for Girls from 1970 to 1977, and in 1972 she joined Greenwich Young People's Theatre (now Tramshed, in Woolwich), about which she has said: "I was twelve years old and it was the making of my childhood and led to a life-long career spent in the arts." She went on to attend Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, graduating in 1982,
In the 1980s, together with Paulette Randall and Patricia Hilaire, she founded Theatre of Black Women, the first theatre company in Britain of its kind. In the 1990s, she organised Britain's first black British writing conference, held at the Museum of London, and also Britain's first black British theatre conference, held at the Royal Festival Hall. In 1995 she co-founded and directed Spread the Word, London's writer development agency.
Evaristo continued further education at Goldsmiths College, University of London, receiving her doctorate in creative writing in 2013. In 2019, she was appointed Woolwich Laureate by the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, reconnecting to and writing about the home town she left when she was 18.
Evaristo's first book to be published was a 1994 collection of poems called Island of Abraham. She went on to become the author of two non-fiction books, and eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. She experiments with form and narrative perspective, often merging the past with the present, fiction with poetry, the factual with the speculative, and reality with alternate realities (as in her 2008 novel Blonde Roots). Her verse novel The Emperor's Babe (Penguin, 2001) is about a black teenage girl, whose parents are from Nubia, coming of age in Roman London nearly 2,000 years ago. It won an Arts Council Writers' Award 2000, a NESTA Fellowship Award in 2003, and went on to be chosen by The Times as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade in 2010, and it was adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2013. Evaristo's fourth book, Soul Tourists (Penguin, 2005), is an experimental novel about a mismatched couple driving across Europe to the Middle East, which featured ghosts of real figures of colour from European history.
Her novel Blonde Roots (Penguin, 2008) is a satire that inverts the history of the transatlantic slave trade and replaces it with a universe where Africans enslave Europeans. Blonde Roots won the Orange Youth Panel Award and Big Red Read Award, and was nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Orange Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Evaristo's other books include the verse novel Lara (Bloodaxe Books, 2009, with an earlier version published in 1997), which fictionalised the multiple cultural strands of her family history going back over 150 years as well as her London childhood in a mixed-race family. This won the EMMA Best Novel Award in 1998. Her novella Hello Mum (Penguin, 2010) was chosen as "The Big Read" for the County of Suffolk, and adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2012.
Her 2014 novel Mr Loverman (Penguin UK, 2013/ Akashic Books USA, 2014) is about a septuagenarian Caribbean Londoner, a closet homosexual considering his options after a 50-year marriage to his wife. It won the Publishing Triangle Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction (USA) and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. In 2015, she wrote and presented a two-part BBC Radio 4 documentary, Fiery Inspiration – about Amiri Baraka, on BBC Radio 4.
Evaristo's novel Girl, Woman, Other (May 2019, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin UK) is an innovative polyvocal "fusion fiction" about 12 primarily black British women. Their ages span 19 to 93 and they are a mix of cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, classes and geographies, and the novel charts their hopes, struggles and intersecting lives. In July 2019, the novel was selected for the Booker Prize longlist, then made the shortlist, announced on 3 September 2019, alongside books by Margaret Atwood, Lucy Ellmann, Chigozie Obioma, Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak. On 14 October, Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize jointly with Atwood's The Testaments. The win made Evaristo the first woman with Black heritage and first British with Black heritage author to win the prize. Girl, Woman, Other was one of Barack Obama's 19 Favourite Books of 2019 and Roxane Gay's Favourite Book of 2019. The novel was also shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction.
In 2020, Evaristo won the British Book Awards: Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year, the Indie Book Award for Fiction. In June 2020, Evaristo became the first woman with Black heritage and the first British writer with Black heritage to reach number one in the UK paperback fiction charts, where she held the top spot for five weeks and spent 44 weeks in the Top 10.
Evaristo's writing also includes short fiction, drama, poetry, essays, literary criticism, and projects for stage and radio. Two of her books, The Emperor's Babe (2001) and Hello Mum (2010), have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. Her ninth book, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, is published by Penguin UK (October 2021) and Grove Atlantic USA (2022). Her tenth book, Feminism (November 2021), is part of Tate Britain's "Look Again" series (Tate Publishing). She offers a personal survey of the representation of the art of British women of colour in the context of the gallery's forthcoming major rehang. In 2020 Evaristo collaborated with Valentino on their Collezione Milano collection, writing poetic text to accompany photographs of the collection by the photographer Liz Johnson Artur, published as a coffee-table book (Rizzoli, 2021).
Evaristo has written many articles, essays, fictions and book reviews for publications including: The Times, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar UK, The Times Literary Supplement, Conde Naste Traveller, Wasafiri, and the New Statesman. She is a contributor to New Daughters of Africa: An international anthology of writing by women of African descent (2019), edited by Margaret Busby.
Evaristo guest-edited The Sunday Times Style magazine (UK) in July 2020 with a black-woman/-xn takeover, featuring an array of young artists, activists and change-makers. A few years earlier, she was the guest editor of the September 2014 issue of Mslexia magazine, the Poetry Society of Great Britain's centenary winter issue of Poetry Review (2012), titled "Offending Frequencies"; a special issue of Wasafiri magazine called Black Britain: Beyond Definition (Routledge, 2010), with poet Karen McCarthy Woolf; Ten, an anthology of Black and Asian poets, with poet Daljit Nagra (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), and in 2007, she co-edited the New Writing Anthology NW15 (Granta/British Council). Evaristo was also editor of FrontSeat intercultural magazine in the 1990s, and one of the editors of Black Women Talk Poetry anthology (published in 1987 by the Black Womantalk Poetry collective of which Evaristo was part), Britain's first such substantial anthology, featuring among its 20 poets Jackie Kay, Dorothea Smartt and Adjoa Andoh.
In October 2020, it was announced that Evaristo is curating a new book series with Hamish Hamilton at Penguin Random House publishers, "Black Britain: Writing Back", which involves bringing back into print and circulation books from the past. The first six books, novels, were published in February 2021, including Minty Alley (1936) by C. L. R. James and The Dancing Face (1997) by Mike Phillips.
Evaristo has been the subject of two major arts television documentary series: The South Bank Show, with Melvyn Bragg (Sky Arts, Autumn 2020) and Imagine, with Alan Yentob ("Bernardine Evaristo: Never Give Up", BBC One, September 2021). She has given many other interviews, including for HARDtalk, with Stephen Shakur (BBC World, 2020) and This Cultural Life, with John Wilson (BBC4, November 2021). She was also the subject of Profile (BBC Radio 4, 2019) and Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4, interviewed by Lauren Laverne, in 2020. In 2015, Evaristo wrote and presented a two-part BBC Radio 4 documentary called Fiery Inspiration: Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement.
Her many podcast appearances in Britain include interviews conducted by Adwoa Aboah, Samira Ahmed, Elizabeth Day, Grace Dent, Annie MacManus, Graham Norton, James O'Brien, Natalie Portman, Jay Rayner, Simon Savidge, Pandora Sykes and Jeremy Vine.
In the two months following her win of the Booker Prize, Evaristo has written that she received more invitations to give interviews than in the entirety of her career.
Teaching and touring
Evaristo has taught creative writing since 1994. She has also been awarded many writing fellowships and residencies including the Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in 2015; for the British Council at Georgetown University, Washington DC; Barnard College/ Columbia University, New York; University of the Western Cape, South Africa; the Virginia Arts Festival (Virginia, USA), and Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, UK. She taught the University of East Anglia-Guardian "How to Tell a Story" course for four seasons in London up until 2015. Evaristo is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, having taught at the university since 2011.
Since 1997, she has accepted more than 130 international invitations as a writer. These involve writer-residencies and visiting fellowships, British Council tours, book tours, teaching creative writing courses and workshops as well as keynotes, talks and panels at many conferences and literary festivals. She chaired the 32nd and 33rd British Council Berlin Literature Seminar in 2017 and 2018. She delivered the New Statesman/Goldsmiths Prize lecture on 30 September 2020. In October 2020, she gave the opening keynote address at the Frankfurt Book Fair's Publishing Insights conference, in which she called on publishers to hire more people represent a wider range of communities: "We have to have people working in the industry from all these communities who are looking for something beyond the cliches and stereotypes."
Aside from founding the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, she has judged many prizes. In 2012 she was chair of the jury for both the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. In 2021, she was Chair of the Women's Prize for Fiction panel of judges.
In 2006, Evaristo initiated an Arts Council-funded report delivered by Spread the Word writer development agency into why black and Asian poets were not getting published in the UK, which revealed that less than 1 per cent of all published poetry is by poets of colour.
When the report was published, she then initiated The Complete Works poetry mentoring scheme, with Nathalie Teitler and Spread the Word. In this national development programme, 30 poets were mentored, each over a one- or two-year period, and many went on to publish books, win awards and receive serious recognition for their poetry. (See The Complete Works alumnae list below.)
Evaristo has also served on councils and advisory committees for various organisations including the Council of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL) since 2017, the Arts Council of England, the London Arts Board, the British Council Literature Advisory Panel, the Society of Authors, the Poetry Society (Chair) and Wasafiri international literature magazine. Evaristo was elected as President of the Royal Society of Literature from the end of 2021 (following the retirement of her predecessor Dame Marina Warner), becoming the first writer of colour and only the second woman to hold the position in the Society's 200-year history, and she stated at the time of the announcement: "Literature is not a luxury, but essential to our civilisation. I am so proud, therefore, to be the figurehead of such an august and robust literature organisation that is so actively and urgently committed to being inclusive of the widest range of outstanding writers from every demographic and geographical location in Britain, and to reaching marginalised communities through literature projects, including introducing young people in schools to some of Britain's leading writers who visit, teach and discuss their work with them." As a Sky Arts Ambassador, Evaristo is spearheading the Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards, providing mentoring for under-represented writers.
Awards and recognition
- 1999: EMMA Best Book Award for Lara
- 2000: Arts Council England Writer's Award 2000, for The Emperor's Babe
- 2002: UEA Writing Fellow, University of East Anglia
- 2003: National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Fellowship Award
- 2004: Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Literature (est.1820)
- 2006: British Council Fellow, Georgetown University, USA
- 2006: Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (est.1754)
- 2009: Arthur C. Clarke Award, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to Literature
- 2009: Big Red Read Award, Fiction and overall winner for Blonde Roots
- 2009: International Dublin Literary Award, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Orange Prize for Fiction, nominated for Blonde Roots
- 2009: Orange Prize Youth Panel Award for Blonde Roots
- 2010: Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, USA (finalist)
- 2010: Poetry Book Society Commendation for Ten, co-edited with Daljit Nagra
- 2010: The Emperor's Babe, The Times (UK) "100 Best Books of the Decade"
- 2014: Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize
- 2015: The Montgomery Fellow, Dartmouth College, USA
- 2015: Triangle Publishing Awards: Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, USA
- 2017: Elected an Honorary Fellow, the English Association (est.1906)
- 2018: Elected a Fellow of Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance
- 2019: Financial Times: list of 14 women gamechangers
- 2019: Goodread's Choice Award Best Fiction (finalist)
- 2019: Gordon Burn Prize (finalist)
- 2019: Winner of the Booker Prize for Girl, Woman, Other
- 2020: Australian Book Industry Awards (nominated)
- 2020: Awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2020 Birthday Honours for services to literature
- 2020: British Book Awards: Author of the Year
- 2020: British Book Awards: Fiction Book of the Year
- 2020: Elle 50 – list of Britain's gamechangers
- 2020: Ferro-Grumley Award USA (finalist)
- 2020: Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage (est. 1683), Trinity College Dublin
- 2020: Indie Book Award for Fiction
- 2020: Le Prix Millepage, France
- 2020: Lifetime Honorary Fellow, St Anne's College, University of Oxford
- 2020: Lifetime Vice President, Royal Society of Literature
- 2020: Orwell Prize (finalist)
- 2020: Reading Women Award
- 2020: The Bookseller 150 power list
- 2020: The Glass Bell Awards (finalist)
- 2020: The Vogue 25 for 2020 – list of Britain's 25 most influential women
- 2020: Visionary Honours Awards – finalist for Girl, Woman, Other 
- 2020: Voted one of 100 Great Black Britons
- 2020: Women's Prize for Fiction (finalist)
- 2021: European Literature Award, Holland (finalist)
- 2021: Freedom of the Borough Award, Royal Borough of Greenwich
- 2021: GG2 Woman of the Year Award
- 2021: Glamour magazine Woman of the Year, Gamechanging Author Award
- 2021: Honorary International Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (est. 1780)
- 2021: International Dublin Literary Award (finalist)
- 2021: Nielsen Gold Bestseller Award 
- 2021: Person of the Year – as the 151st honoree of The Bookseller's 150 Power List.
- 2021: Premio Gregor von Rezzori (Italy) (finalist)
- 2021: Premio Lattes Grinzane (Italy) (finalist)
- 2021: President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
- 2021: The UK Black Powerlist 100
- 2021: The Bookseller 150 power list
- 2021: Vanity Fair magazine Challenger Award
- 2022: Appointed President, Royal Society of Literature (2022–2026)
- 2022: Bestsellery Empiku Award (Poland) – finalist
- 2022: Forbes "50 over 50" honoree for the Europe, Middle East & Africa region
- 2022: Honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters, Kings College London
- 2022: Honorary Doctor of Letters, Queen Mary University of London
- 2022: Honorary Doctor of Letters, Glasgow Caledonian University
- 2022: Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Greenwich
- 2022: Honorary Fellow, Goldsmiths, University of London 2022: Honorary Doctor of Arts, London South Bank University
- 2022 Honorary Fellow, CILIP, The Library and Information Association
- 2022: Plebiscyt Ksiazka Roku 2021/ Literatura Piekna (Poland) for Girl, Woman Other – finalist
- 2022: Sky Arts: Britain's 50 Most Influential Artists of the Past 50 years (No. 26)
- 2022: Soho House Awards: Writer
- 2022: Stylist magazine Remarkable Women Awards: Writer of the Year
- 2022: The UK Black Black Powerlist 100
- 2022: Visionary Honours Book of the Year 2021 – finalist for Manifesto
- 2014: Appointed The Public Orator, Brunel University London
- 2015: CBASS Award for Excellence, Brunel University London
- 2017: Teach Brunel Award, Brunel University London
- 2020: Vice Chancellor's Award for Staff, Brunel University London
- 2022: CBASS Lecturer of the Year, Brunel University London
- 1994: Island of Abraham (poems, Peepal Tree Press; ISBN 978-0948833601)
- 1997: Lara (novel, Angela Royal Publishing; ISBN 9781899860456)
- 2001: The Emperor's Babe (verse novel, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; Penguin USA, 2002; ISBN 978-0140297812)
- 2005: Soul Tourists (novel, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; ISBN 978-0140297829)
- 2008: Blonde Roots (novel, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; Riverhead/Penguin USA, 2009; ISBN 978-0141031521)
- 2009: Lara (new, expanded edition, (Bloodaxe Books; ISBN 978-1852248314)
- 2010: Hello Mum (novella, Penguin UK; ISBN 978-0141044385)
- 2014: Mr Loverman (novel, Penguin UK; Akashic Books; ISBN 978-1617752896)
- 2019: Girl, Woman, Other (novel, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; ISBN 978-0241364901)
- 2021: Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (memoir, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin; ISBN 978-0241534991)
- 2021: Feminism (Look Again Series, Tate Galleries Publishing; ISBN 978-1849767163)
- 1982: Moving Through, a choral dramatic poem, Talking Black Festival, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
- 1982: Tiger Teeth Clenched Not to Bite, a poetic monologue. Theatre of Black Women, the Melkweg, Amsterdam
- 1983: Silhouette, an experimental verse drama. Theatre of Black Women tour. Co-writer: Patricia St. Hilaire
- 1984: Pyeyucca, an experimental verse drama. Theatre of Black Women tour. Additional material: Patricia St. Hilaire
- 2002: Medea – Mapping the Edge. Verse drama. Wilson Wilson Company at Sheffield Crucible Theatre and BBC Radio Drama
- 2003: Madame Bitterfly and the Stockwell Diva. Verse drama. The Friday Play, BBC Radio 4, starring Rudolph Walker, Clare Perkins, Dona Croll
- 2020: First, Do No Harm, a poetic monologue, Old Vic Theatre online, directed by Adrian Lester and produced by Lolita Chakrabarti, starring Sharon D. Clarke.
Short fiction (selected)
- 1994: "Letters from London" in Miscegenation Blues: voices of mixed-race women, edited by Carol Camper (Sister Vision Press)
- 2005: On Top of the World (BBC Radio 4)
- 2006: "Ohtakemehomelord.com" in The Guardian's annual short story supplement (July)
- 2008: "A Matter of Timing", The Guardian
- 2010: "On Top of the World", The Mechanics Institute Review, Issue 7 (Birkbeck, University of London)
- 2011: "I Think I'm Going Slightly Mad" in One for the Trouble, The Book Slam Annual, edited by Patrick Neate (Book Slam Productions)
- 2014: "Our Billy, (or should it be Betty?)" in Letter to an Unknown Soldier, 14–18 NOW UK WW1 Centenary Art Commissions (William Collins/HarperCollins)
- 2015: "Yoruba Man Walking" in Closure: a new anthology of contemporary black British fiction, edited by Jacob Ross (Peepal Tree Press)
- 2016: "The Human World" in How Much the Heart Can Hold, edited by Emma Herdman (Hodder & Stoughton)
- 2020: "Star of the Season", British Vogue
- 2020: "The White Man's Liberation Front", New Statesman
- 1992: "Black Theatre", Artrage (Winter/Spring)
- 1993: "Black Women in Theatre", Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers, edited by Kadjia George (Aurora Metro Press)
- 1996: "Going it Alone" – one-person shows in black British theatre, Artrage
- 1998: "On Staying Power" by Peter Fryer for BBC Windrush Education
- 2001: "Roaring Zora" on the life and writing of Zora Neale Hurston, Marie Claire
- 2005: "An Introduction to Contemporary British Poetry", British Council Literature Magazine
- 2005: "False Memory Syndrome: Writing Black in Britain", in Writing Worlds (New Writing Partnership/University of East Anglia)
- 2005: "Origins", Crossing Borders, British Council online
- 2005: "The Road Less Travelled", Necessary Journeys, edited by Melanie Keen and Eileen Daley, Arts Council England
- 2007: "Writing the Past: Traditions, Inheritances, Discoveries" in Writing Worlds 1: The Norwich Exchanges (University of East Anglia/Pen & Inc Press)
- 2008: "CSI Europe: African Trace Elements. Fragments. Reconstruction. Case Histories. Motive. Personal", Wasafiri (Taylor & Francis)
- 2009: Autobiographical essay, Contemporary Writers, Vol. 275 (Gale Publishing, USA)
- 2009: Autobiographical essay, "My Father's House" (Five Dials)
- 2010: Introduction to Ten poetry anthology, "Why This, Why Now?", on the need for The Complete Works initiative to diversify British poetry publications (Bloodaxe Books)
- 2010: Introduction to Wasafiri Black Britain: Beyond Definition, "The Illusion of Inclusion", Issue 64, Winter 2010 (Routledge)
- 2010: "The Month of September", on writing and process, Volume 100:4, Winter 2010 Poetry Review
- 2011: "Myth, Motivation, Magic & Mechanics", Body of Work: 40 Years of Creative Writing at UEA (University of East Anglia), edited by Giles Foden (Full Circle Editions)
- 2013: The Book that Changed Me Series: Essay on For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange (BBC Radio 3)
- 2016: "The Privilege of Being a Mixed Race Woman", Tangled Roots: Real Life Stories from Mixed Race Britain, Anthology Number 2, edited by Katy Massey (Tangled Roots)
- 2019: "What a Time to be a (Black) (British) (Womxn) Writer", in Brave New Words, edited by Susheila Nasta (Myriad Editions)
- 2020: "Claiming Whiteness", The House magazine, of the (Houses of Parliament)
- 2020: Foreword to Bedside Guardian, the annual Guardian anthology
- 2020: Foreword: "Re:Thinking: 'Diversity' in Publishing", by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente (Goldsmiths University/Newgen Publishing UK)
- 2020: "Gender in the Blender", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: Introduction to Loud Black Girls, edited by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené (HarperCollins)
- 2020: "Literature Can Foster Our Shared Humanity", British Vogue, 6 June 2020.
- 2020: "Loving the Body Fat-tastic", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "On Mrs Dalloway", BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Spiritual Pick and Mix", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "The Longform Patriarchs and their Accomplices", New Statesman
- 2020: "The Pro-Mask Movement", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2020: "Theatre of Black Women: A Personal Account", in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage, edited by Jan Sewell and Clare Smout (Palgrave Macmillan)
- 2020: "Why Black Lives Matter", for A Point of View, BBC Radio 4
- 2021: Introduction to Beloved by Toni Morrison (Vintage)
- 2021: Introduction to Bernard and the Cloth Monkey by Judith Bryan (1998), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Black Teacher by Beryl Gilroy (Faber and Faber)
- 2021: Introduction to for Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange (Orion)
- 2021: Introduction to Incomparable World by S. I. Martin (1996), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Minty Alley by C. L. R. James (1936), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to The Dancing Face by Mike Phillips (1997), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to The Fat Lady Sings by Jacqueline Roy (2000), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2021: Introduction to Without Prejudice by Nicola Williams (1997), "Black Britain: Writing Back" series (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin reissue)
- 2022: "The Artistic Triumph of Older Black Women", The Guardian
- 1987: Editor, with Da Choong, Olivette Cole-Wilson, and Gabriela Pearse, Black Women Talk Poetry anthology
- 1996–1997: Editor, FrontSeat quarterly inter-cultural performance magazine (Black Theatre Forum)
- 1998–2008: associate editor, Wasafiri international literature journal (Queen Mary University London and Open University)
- 2007: Editor, with Maggie Gee, NW15: New Writing Anthology, 15th annual edition (British Council and Granta)
- 2010: Editor, with Daljit Nagra, Ten: New Poets poetry anthology, introducing ten new poets from The Complete Works project (Bloodaxe Books)
- 2010: guest editor, with Karen McCarthy Woolf, Wasafiri, Black Britain: Beyond Definition, Special Winter Issue (Routledge)
- 2012: guest editor, Poetry Review, Offending Frequencies for The Poetry Society of Great Britain, Special Centenary Winter Issue, Volume 102.4
- 2014: Editorial Selector, the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize anthology, Let's Tell This Story Properly, edited by Ellah Allfrey (Dundern Press, Canada)
- 2014: guest editor, Mslexia quarterly magazine of creative writing, Issue Number 63
- 2014–2020, Originator and supervising editor of annual student anthologies at Brunel University London: The Voices Inside Our Heads, The Psyche Supermarket, The Imagination Project, It's Complicated, Totem, Pendulum and Letter to My Younger Self 2019, Kintsugi
- 2014–ongoing. Editorial Board, the African Poetry Book Fund, with Prairie Schooner poetry magazine at the University of Nebraska
- 2020: guest editor, The Sunday Times Style magazine
Literary prize juries
- 1997: Ian St. James Award (Fiction)
- 2004: The Next Generation Top 20 List, organised by PBS and Poetry Society
- 2006: The National Poetry Competition
- 2007: Northern Rock Writers' Award (Fiction & Poetry)
- 2008: Decibel Penguin Prize (Fiction)
- 2009: Muslim Writers Awards with Penguin Publishers (Fiction)
- 2010: Alfred Fagon Award – (Black plays)
- 2010: Orange Award for New Writers (Women's fiction)
- 2010: T. S. Eliot Prize (Poetry)
- 2011: Peacock Poetry Prize (Brighton Festival)
- 2012: Chair: Caine Prize for African Fiction
- 2012: Chair: Commonwealth Short Story Prize
- 2012: Founder & Chair of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize
- 2012: The Poetry Society's Poetry News competition
- 2013: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2013: Golden Baobab Prize, Ghana (Short stories for African children)
- 2013: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (USA)
- 2014: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2014: OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, Poetry (Trinidad)
- 2014: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, USA
- 2015: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2015: Costa Book Award Best Novel & Costa Book of the Year
- 2015: First Story National Writing Competition
- 2015: Prairie Schooner First Book Prize (USA)
- 2016: Chair: The Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2016: Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction
- 2016: Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize
- 2016: Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (USA)
- 2017: Chair: Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2018: 40 New Fellows under 40 Royal Society of Literature
- 2018: Chair: Brunel International African Poetry Prize
- 2018: Geneva Writers' Prize
- 2018: Isis magazine Writing Competition, Oxford University
- 2018: The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition
- 2019: Anthony Burgess/Observer newspaper Award for Arts' Journalism
- 2019: Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry
- 2019: Harper's Short Story Award
- 2019: Polari Book Prize for LGBTQ+ fiction
- 2020: Chair, Women's Prize for Fiction
- 2020: Sunday Times Style Journalism Competition
- Board of directors, Black Mime Theatre Company, 1990s
- Advisory board: Wasafiri Literature Magazine, 2000–
- General Council: The Poetry Society of Great Britain, 2001–2004
- Special Literature Advisor: London Arts Board, 2001–2005
- Chair: The Poetry Society of Great Britain, 2003–2004
- Literature Advisor: The British Council, 2003–2006
- Advisory Committee: New Galleries, Museum of London, 2004–2008
- Advisory Board: MA Creative Writing, City University, 2004–2009
- Founder: Free Verse & The Complete Works schemes, 2005–2017
- The Society of Authors Management Committee, 2008–2009
- Patron: Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF), 2009–2011
- Editorial Board: the African Poetry Book Series, APBF, University of Nebraska, 2012–
- Patron: SI Leeds Literary Prize for unpublished black/Asian women writers, 2012–
- The Folio Prize, Member of the Academy, 2013–
- Arts Council England, Member of the South East Area Council, 2014–2015
- Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Creative Writing Panel, 2014–2015
- Elected to Council, Royal Society of Literature, 2016–
- Vice Chair, Royal Society of Literature, 2017–2020
The Complete Works alumnae
- Rowyda Amin
- Malika Booker
- Janet Kofi-Tsekpo
- Mir Mahfuz Ali
- Nick Makoha
- Karen McCarthy Woolf
- Shazea Quraishi
- Roger Robinson
- Denise Saul
- Seni Seneviratne
- Mona Arshi
- Jay Bernard
- Kayo Chingonyi
- Rishi Dastidar
- Edward Doegar
- Inua Ellams
- Sarah Howe
- Eileen Pun
- Adam Lowe
- Warsan Shire
- Girl, Woman, Other, Penguin.
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- Flood, Alison (4 December 2019). "'Another author': outrage after BBC elides Bernardine Evaristo's Booker win". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
- Middleton, Lucy (15 October 2019). "First woman with Black heritage to receive Booker Prize describes joint win as 'bittersweet'". Metro.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (19 October 2019). "Bernardine Evaristo: 'These are unprecedented times for black female writers'". The Guardian.
- de León, Concepción (1 November 2019). "Booker Prize Winner 'Girl, Woman, Other' Is Coming to America". The New York Times.
- Brunel International African Poetry Prize website.
- "The Complete Works". Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- "About Us", Spread the Word.
- "Theatre of Black Women", Unfinished Histories: Recording the History of Alternative Theatre. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- "Black Theatre Forum". Black Plays Archive. National Theatre.
- "Bernardine Evaristo Announced as New President of the RSL". The Royal Society of Literature. 30 November 2021.
- "No. 63135". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 2020. p. B12.
- Harolds, Laolu (7 September 2019), "Two Nigerian Novelists Make 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist", Nigerian Tribune.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (25 September 2021). "Bernardine Evaristo on a childhood shaped by racism: 'I was never going to give up'". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
- "Biography". Bernandine Evaristo Official Website. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
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- Payne, Tom (23 March 2003). "A Writer's Life: Bernadine Evaristo". The Telegraph. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2014.(Subscription required.)
- Innes, C. L. (2007). The Cambridge Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English. Cambridge University Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1139-4655-95. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
Bernardine Evaristo grandfather slave.
- Bernardine Evaristo biography, British Council, Literature.
- "Alumni Author Bernadine Evaristo Holds Q&A at Eltham Hill". Eltham Hill School. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Meet the Team". Tramshed. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Bernardine Evaristo (OBE)". Rose Bruford College. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Arts Advocacy", Bernardine Evaristo website.
- "Bernardine Evaristo". gold.ac.uk. Goldsmiths University of London. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (7 September 2019). "Bernardine Evaristo on Woolwich: 'We weren't allowed to play outside'". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- Russell, Anna (3 February 2022). "How Bernardine Evaristo Conquered British Literature". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
- "Bernardine Evaristo, Professor of Creative Writing", Brunel University London.
- Merritt, Stephanie (24 August 2008), "When slavery isn't such a black-and-white issue", The Observer.
- Kroll. Jeri (December 2018), "The Hybrid Verse Novel and History: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo revisioning the past", Axon, Issue 7.2: Contemporary Boundary Crossings and Ways of Speaking Poetically.
- "The 100 Best Books of the Decade", The Times, 14 November 2009.
- The Emperor's Babe, BBC Radio 4, 23 May 2013.
- "Extract from Soul Tourists — Analysis", Crossing Borders.
- Adams, Sarah (16 July 2005), "What a trip", The Guardian.
- Charles, Ron (18 January 2009), "Race Reversal", The Washington Post.
- Flood, Alison (3 June 2009). "Bernardine Evaristo wins 'alternative' Orange prize". The Guardian.
- "Bernardine Evaristo" at Diaspora Writers UK. Archived 27 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- Bernardine Evaristo, Lara at Bloodaxe Books.
- "Hello Mum", Afternoon Drama, BBC Radio 4, 3 August 2012.
- Gee, Maggie (31 August 2013), "Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo – review", The Guardian.
- Osman, Diriye (30 June 2014), "The Dazzling Story of an Older, Gay, Caribbean Dandy", HuffPost Queer Voices.
- The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Archived 27 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
- "Fiery Inspiration: Amiri Baraka And The Black Arts Movement". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
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- "Not read them yet? A cheat's guide to the 2019 Booker prize longlist". The Guardian. 24 July 2019.,
- "Atwood and Rushdie on Booker Prize shortlist". BBC News. 3 September 2019.
- Self, John (12 October 2019). "Booker Prize 2019: The books to read, and the ones you can skip". The Irish Times.
- "Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo: Winners of The 2019 Booker Prize announced". The Booker Prizes. 14 October 2020.
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- "Women of the World Festival 2022 | Bernardine Evaristo - Black Britain: Writing Back". Women of the World. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- Wood, Heloise (30 December 2019), "Obama hails Girl, Woman, Other and Normal People as favourite books of 2019", The Bookseller.
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- "Indie Book Award 2020 winners announced". Writers Online. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
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- "Bernardine Evaristo". National Centre for Writing. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- Lavender, Jane (17 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton ends incredible year top of influential Black Powerlist 2021". Mirror. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "The Big Jubilee Read: A literary celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's record-breaking reign". BBC. 17 April 2022. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
- "Manifesto". Penguin Books Limited.
- "Liz Johnson Artur / Bernardine Evaristo: Valentino: Collezione Milano".
- Bernardine Evaristo profile at The Guardian.
- "Bernardine Evaristo", New Statesman.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (4 January 2020). "I Long Ago Chose to Take My Community with Me on My Creative Journey". Brittle Paper. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- Le Gendre, Kevin (29 May 2019). "Daughters Of Africa". Echoes.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (26 July 2020). "Bernardine Evaristo guest edits Style: putting Black women and womxn in the spotlight". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Mslexia, Issue 63, Sep/Oct/Nov 2014.
- "Ten New Poets by Bernardine Evaristo", Poetry Book Society. Archived 26 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Osborne, Deirdre (ed.) (2016), The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945–2010), Cambridge University Press, p. xvii.
- "Bernardine Evaristo rediscovers six novels by Black writers for Black Britain: Writing Back series". Penguin. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- Campbell, Joel (28 October 2020). "The South Bank Show: Gillian Anderson, Bernardine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah and Simon Armitage". The Voice.
- "Gillian Anderson, Bernardine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah & Simon Armitage featured in new South Bank Show season". seenit.co.uk. 28 October 2020.
- Ibeh, Chukwuebuka (31 August 2021). "BBC Documentary Explores the Life and Work of Bernardine Evaristo | Airs on Sept. 2". Brittle Paper. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
- "Bernardine Evaristo: Never Give Up". imagine... BBC One. 2 September 2021.
- "Bernardine Evaristo, writer", Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4, 20 September 2020.
- Thorpe, Vanessa (20 September 2020), "Bernardine Evaristo: living as a lesbian made me stronger", The Observer
- "UEA-GUARDIAN MASTERCLASSES", News, Bernardine Evaristo, 19 January 2012.
- "#PotW Literary London annual lecture 23 July: Bernardine Evaristo: 'London, Londinium, Londolo: The Endless Possibilities of Re-Imagining London'". Talking Humanities. School of Advanced Study, University of London. 21 July 2014.
- Evaristo, Bernardine (1 October 2020). "The longform patriarchs, and their accomplices". New Statesman.
- Flood, Alison (2 October 2020). "Bernardine Evaristo slams literature teaching for bias to 'whiteness and maleness'". The Guardian.
- Johnson, Hannah (14 October 2020). "Bernardine Evaristo to UK Publishing: Hire More Diverse People". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- "Bernardine Evaristo, Chair of Judges 2012, writer and poet", Caine Prize, 23 April 2012.
- Evaristo, Bernardine, "'There is no magic formula'" (Chair of the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize on what makes a good short story) Commonwealth Writers.
- "Announcing our 2021 Judging Panel". Women's Prize for Fiction. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- (in Italian) Caponi, Paolo. "Ester Gendusa, Identità nere e cultura europea. La narrativa di Bernardine Evaristo", In: Altre Modernità, Vol. 0, Iss. 14, pp. 211–213 (2015).
- Bird, Julia. "The Complete Works Poetry – call for submissions". The Poetry School. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- Ashenden, Amy (21 February 2014), "Bernardine Evaristo – Interview", VADA.
- "'Girl, Woman, Other' Author Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Woman To Win Booker Prize". Essence. 6 December 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Bernardine Evaristo | Advisory Board", People, Wasafiri.
- Chandler, Mark (29 November 2021). "Evaristo first writer of colour to be named RSL president". The Bookseller. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
- Sherwood, Harriet (30 November 2021). "Novelist Bernardine Evaristo to be president of Royal Society of Literature". The Guardian.
- "Sky Arts joins forces with five world-leading artists to nurture the next generation". Sky Arts. 29 January 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
- "Bernardine Evaristo - Person - National Portrait Gallery". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
- "Bernardine Evaristo: Husband surprises Booker winner… with a book". BBC News. 13 March 2021. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
- Smith, Robbie (1 April 2021). "Londoner's Diary: I would be crushed if my wife hated my book, says David Shannon". Evening Standard.
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- "Evaristo, Bernardine 1959–", Encyclopedia.com.
- "Former Tutors A–H", UEA.
- Poetry Society, 15 April 2005. Archived 6 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "No. 59090", The London Gazette (1st supplement), 12 June 2009, p. 16.
- "Bernardine Evaristo" at Casa della poesia.
- Guest, Katy (10 May 2009), "Teenage picks: Six teenagers set to judge Orange Prize alongside the regular panel". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- "2010 Judges", The Orange Award for New Writers.
- "Bernardine Evaristo", Hurston/Wright Foundation.
- "Bernardine Evaristo & Daljit Nagra: Ten", Bloodaxe Books.
- Bernardine Evaristo, Montgomery Fellows, Dartmouth College.
- Awards, The Publishing Triangle.
- "First Rose Bruford College Degrees Awarded", Broadway World, 17 September 2018.
- "Fellows & Honorary Fellows", Rose Bruford College.
- "2019 Goodreads Choice Award Best Fiction". Goodreads. Goodreads, Inc. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
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- "Birthday Honours 2020: Marcus Rashford, Joe Wicks and key workers honoured", BBC News, 10 October 2020.
- "ELLE UK Introduces This Year's New Movers and Shakers on THE ELLE LIST, 2020", Hearst Media Centre, 3 September 2020.
- "Writer and Academic, Bernardine Evaristo, elected Honorary Fellow of St Anne's". St Anne's College, University of Oxford. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- "THE BOOKSELLER 150 - 2019".
- "Visionary Honours 2020 Shortlist Announcement". Visionary Arts. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
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- "100 Great Black Britons", 2020.
- "Freedom of the Borough | People and organisations awarded the Freedom of the Royal Borough of Greenwich". Royal Borough of Greenwich.
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- "THE BOOKSELLER 150 - 2020".
- "St Anne's Honorary Fellow, Bernardine Evaristo, elected President of the Royal Society of Literature". St Anne's College, University of Oxford. 1 December 2021.
- "Bernardine Evaristo receives honorary Queen Mary degree". Queen Mary University of London. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Student Led Awards 2022 - Winners Announced". Union of Brunel Students. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2022.
- "Silhouette | BPA". www.blackplaysarchive.org.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Hilaire; Patricia St. | BPA". www.blackplaysarchive.org.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Theatre of Black Women's Pyeyucca, featured in Outwrite newspaper (December, 1984)". Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Wilson and Wilson – makers of site-specific theatre, installation and art". Wilson and Wilson. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "The Greatest Wealth 2020: First, Do No Harm". The Old Vic. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "The Greatest Wealth | 2020s: First, Do No Harm - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- "Mixed Race Studies » Carol Camper". Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- "MIR Online – Read Write React". Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Mechanics Institute Review Issue 7". Goodreads. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- "Letter to an Unknown Soldier". Letter to an Unknown Soldier. 14–18 NOW. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Closure". Peepal Tree Press. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- How Much the Heart Can Hold: the perfect alternative Valentine's gift. Hodder & Stoughton. 25 April 2019. ISBN 9781473649446.
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- "'Artrage – Inter-cultural arts magazine'". mrc-catalogue.warwick.ac.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers". Aurora Metro Books. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Home - Crossing Borders". Transcultural writing. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- "The Book that Changed Me". BBC Radio 3. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- "Brave New Words". Myriad Editions. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- The Bedside Guardian 2020. The Guardian Bookshop.
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- Bryan, Judith. Bernard and the Cloth Monkey. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- Martin, S. I. Incomparable World. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- James, C. L. R. Minty Alley. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Phillips, Mike. The Dancing Face. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Roy, Jacqueline. The Fat Lady Sings. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
- Williams, Nicola. Without Prejudice. Penguin UK. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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