Evaristo says Booker win a landmark for black British women

Winning the Booker Prize is one big step for Bernardine Evaristo _ and, she hopes, a giant leap for British women writers of color

LONDON -- Winning the Booker Prize is one big step for Bernardine Evaristo — and, she hopes, a giant leap for British women writers of color.

This week the London-based writer shared the prestigious prize for English-language fiction with Margaret Atwood after the five-person panel of judges decided they couldn't choose between Atwood's dystopian thriller "The Testaments" and Evaristo's kaleidoscope of black women's stories, "Girl, Woman, Other."

Evaristo is the first woman of African heritage to win the Booker in its 50-year history, and only the fourth ever to be a finalist.

She said Tuesday that "hopefully this will mark a new direction."

The novelist says she's "excited and euphoric" to win the Booker because "it's such a major prize, and it felt so unattainable."