LONDON (REUTERS) – Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” and Bernardine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other” jointly won the Booker Prize in London on Monday (Oct 14), in a surprise announcement by the judges of the major literary prize.

“Neither of us expected to win this,” Atwood said in her acceptance speech in a televised ceremony.

“The Testaments,” published last month, is the sequel to the Canadian author’s best-selling 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

British author Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other” tells the stories of 12 characters, mainly female and black and aged 19 to 93, living in Britain.

Each year a panel of judges awards the prize to “the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland,” with the winner receiving 50,000 pounds (S$86,400).

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