Bernardine Evaristo

British author and academic

Bernardine Evaristo, MBE FRSL FRSA, FEA (born 28 May 1959) is a British novelist.

Bernardine Evaristo in 2018


  • I wanted to put presence into absence. I was very frustrated that black British women weren't visible in literature. I whittled it down to 12 characters – I wanted them to span from a teenager to someone in their 90s, and see their trajectory from birth, though not linear. There are many ways in which otherness can be interpreted in the novel – the women are othered in so many ways and sometimes by each other. I wanted it to be identified as a novel about women as well.
  • I have a term I came up with called fusion fiction – that's what it felt like, with the absence of full stops, the long sentences. The form is very free-flowing and it allowed me to be inside the characters' heads and go all over the place – the past, the present. For me, there's always a level of experimentation – I'm not happy writing what we might call traditional novels.