Bernardine Evaristo on the Illusion of Writer’s Block: An Interview with Literary Hub

Bernardine Evaristo attends The 2019 Booker Prize at The Guildhall on October 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, which recently won the Booker Prize, is out now from Grove Atlantic. We asked her about writers’ block, her favorite books, and more.


Who do you most wish would read your book?
Oprah. I don’t know if her book club has ever featured a novel or book about black Britain, or black British women and if not, now is the time to start. Black women in the UK have been reading African American writers all our lives yet I’m not sure it’s reciprocated. Perhaps Girl, Woman, Other’s Booker win will stimulate interest in not only this novel and my oeuvre, but also in books by other black British writers.

What time of day do you write?
Any time. Ideally first thing in the morning, at around 5 or 6 am, and then throughout the day until 9 pm taking numerous breaks. I can’t sit at my desk for long stints hammering out work without getting up and exercising, going for walks, cycling, a swim, eating (obv), siesta-ing, dealing with admin, seeing people, teaching Creative Writing (at Brunel University London) and wasting time surfing the net. Yet the deeper focus is on my writing all day every day, and eventually, after several years, a new novel is completed. My imagination would wilt and die if I wrote without taking breathers, exercise and engaging with the world.


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