Bernardine Evaristo: Online-Only

Jennie Scott

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Literary Arts

Bernardine Evaristo: Online-Only

Past Event: Monday, January 24, 2022


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Although this event has passed, you can still purchase tickets now through Monday, January 31, at 7:30 p.m. (PT). The event will be viewable until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 31.

This event has been moved to an online-only format. All ticket holders will receive an email reminder a couple of days before the event that will include a link and digital viewing instructions.

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of the 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other, and the forthcoming memoir Manifesto, which investigates her long journey as a Black writer in a white-dominated industry.

Evaristo’s writing is characterized by experimentation, daring, subversion, and challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities, and her books range in genre from poetry to short story to drama to criticism.

Q&A with Dr. Carmen Rojas, President and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation.

Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win—the first by a Black woman—was a revolutionary moment both for British culture and for her. After three decades as a trailblazing writer, teacher, and activist, she moved from the margins to center stage, taking her place in the spotlight at last. Her journey was a long one, but she made it, and she made history.

Manifesto: On Never Giving Up is Bernardine Evaristo’s intimate and inspirational, no-holds-barred account of how she did it, refusing to let any barriers stand in her way. She charts her creative rebellion against the mainstream and her life-long commitment to the imaginative exploration of ‘untold’ stories. And drawing deeply on her own experiences, she offers a vital contribution to current conversations around social issues such as race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging.

In all of her work, Evaristo’s writing is celebrated for its experimentation, daring, subversion, and challenging the myths of Afro-diasporic identities and histories. She describes her writing style as a fusion: “As a writer of fictions I like to mix things up temporally, spatially and stylistically—to cross the borders of genre, race, culture, gender, history, and sexuality.” The Booker Judges citation praises Girl, Woman, Other for this fusion, saying, “The language wraps the reader by force, with the quality of oral traditions and poetry. This is a novel that deserves to be read aloud and to be performed and celebrated in all kinds of media.”

In Girl, Woman, Other, Evaristo offers a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. “This masterful novel is a choral love song to Black womanhood,” wrote Elle magazine, while the Washington Post proclaimed, Girl, Woman, Other as “A breathtaking symphony of Black women’s voices, a clear-eyed survey of contemporary challenges that’s nevertheless wonderfully life-affirming.” Evaristo won the Booker Prize alongside Margaret Atwood, to which the Washington Post also remarked, “Girl, Woman, Other received half a Booker Prize, but it deserves all the glory.”

A staunch and longstanding activist and advocate for the inclusion of artists and writers of color, Evaristo has initiated several successful schemes to ensure increased representation in the creative industries.

Evaristo was born the fourth of eight children, in Woolwich, south east London, to an English mother (of English, Irish, and German heritage) and a Nigerian father (of Nigerian and Brazilian heritage). Her father was a welder and local labor councilor; her mother was a schoolteacher. She spent her teenage years at Greenwich Young People’s Theatre, which was where she first became involved in the arts. In 2019, Evaristo served as the inaugural Woolwich Laureate, appointed by the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival.

Among her many honors, Evaristo was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (2004), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (2006), a Fellow of the English Association (2017), and a Fellow of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (2018). She joined the governing Council of the Royal Society of Literature in 2016 and became Vice Chair in 2017. Evaristo lives in London with her husband, where she is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

Dr. Carmen Rojas, our moderator for the evening, is the President and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, and co-founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab. For more than 20 years, she has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the United States. Dr. Rojas holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007.

Event Details

Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Policies

Seattle Arts & Lectures requires attendees to provide proof of vaccination for our in-person events this season. See our FAQ for details. Masks are required for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. Likewise, our staff and volunteers will be vaccinated and masked.

These policies are subject to revision as health and safety guidelines change. You will receive a pre-event email two days prior to each event to confirm our most up-to-date policies.

Can't find your tickets? Need access to the digital event?

All tickets have been emailed for Evaristo’s event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from [email protected]. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

For online attendance: Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email, contain your digital access instructions. The night of your event, return to and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at [email protected] and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Bernardine Evaristo something? Send your question to SAL at [email protected]—it might be asked onstage!


Our partner bookstore, University Book Store, has copies of Evaristo’s work available for purchase on their website.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, you're invited to Happy Hour!

Patron & Grand Patron seating includes a pre-event happy hour, as is possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. Check your pre-event email for details.


Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at online events. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select Sign Language Interpretation from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will reach out to you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services for online events, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at [email protected], or Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 206.621.2230×10. For more accessibility information, please head to


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