Bernardine Evaristo has signed a three-book deal with Hamish Hamilton for her first ever non-fiction book, Manifesto, a new novel and debut short story collection.
Publishing director Simon Prosser acquired British and Commonwealth rights including audio, e-book and serial from Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander. Manifesto will be published on 7th October 2021 in hardback. Grove Atllantic has bagged North American rights.
Prosser commented: “Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker win—the first by a Black woman—was a revolutionary moment both for British culture and for her. After over three decades as a trailblazing writer, teacher and activist, she moved from the margins to centre stage, taking her place in the spotlight at last. Her journey was a long one, but she made it, and she made history.”
Manifesto is described the Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton) author's “intimate and inspirational, no-holds-barred account of how she did it, refusing to let any barriers stand in her way”.
The publisher explained: “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. This is a unique book about staying true to yourself and to your vision. It’s about how to be unstoppable—in your craft, your work, your life. It is Bernardine Evaristo’s manifesto for never giving up.”
Evaristo said: “I never stopped writing because I couldn't not write. It is at heart of my existence and how I respond to the world. I have found that developing self-belief is more important than relying on the approval of others, because when times are hard and you feel alone, you need to marshal your inner resources to keep going. I also discovered a long time ago that struggle and disappointment can be good for a creative artist as we build our careers, so long as we don’t give up. Ploughing through the challenges we all face at different stages of our lives creates a resilience inside us that makes us unstoppable.”
Through Nielsen BookScan, Evaristo has sold 404,590 books for £3.2m, with the paperback of Girl, Woman, Other her top seller on 281,448 copies sold. That figure excludes a large chunk of lockdown sales and her Booker-winning title was the seventh-bestselling book overall in 2020, and the third-bestselling in fiction.
Manifesto will be launched with a public event hosted by Penguin Live at London’s Southbank Centre on Sunday 3rd October. Tickets will be on sale in early July and more information is available online.