Bernardine Evaristo's Biography

Bernardine Evaristo pictureEvaristo was born in London to an English mother, who was a schoolteacher, and a Nigerian father, who migrated to Britain in 1949 and became a welder. Her paternal grandfather was a Yoruba Saro who returned from Brazil to Nigeria and her paternal grandmother was from Abeokuta in Nigeria.

Evaristo is the author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. She is a noted experimenter 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 an editor, she guest-edited the September 2014 issue of Mslexia magazine. Other editorships include 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,[14] an anthology of Black and Asian poets, with poet Daljit Nagra (Bloodaxe Books, 2010). In 2007, she co-edited the New Writing Anthology NW15 (Granta/British Council). She was also editor of FrontSeat intercultural magazine in the 1990s.

In 2012, she was Chair of judges for the Caine Prize for African Writing and Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

In 2015 she wrote and presented a two-part BBC Radio 4 documentary, Fiery Inspiration - on Amiri Baraka and his influence on her generation of writers.

Lara won the EMMA Best Novel Award in 1998.