Nuova collaborazione Casa della poesia e il Fatto Quotidiano


Bernardine Evaristo Inghilterra inglese Bernardine Evaristo è nata e cresciuta a Londra da mamma inglese e padre nigeriano. Quarta di quattro figli, è cresciuta a Woolwich, South London, e ha studiato come attrice e ha lavorato in teatro.
È autrice di due romanzi in versi acclamati dalla critica:
"Lara" (1997 e 2009 nuova versione), che segue le radici di una famiglia mista inglese-nigeriana-brasiliana-irlandese per oltre 150 anni, tre continenti e sette generazioni; e "The Emperor's Babe" (2001), la pioneristica storia tragicomica di Zuleika, una ragazza figlia di genitori sudanesi, cresciuta nella Londra romana di 1800 anni fa e che ha una relazione con l'imperatore romano Settimio Severo. Il suo romanzo con versi "Soul Tourists" (2005), parla di un viaggio in macchina attraverso l'Europa di una coppia male assortita, Stanley e Jessie, con brevi apparizioni lungo la strada dei fantasmi di colore della storia europea quali Pushkin, Alessandro de Medici e Mary Seacole.
Bernardine ha scritto anche per il teatro, radio e giornali, e una collaborazione multimediale Cityscapes con il sassofonista Andy Sheppard e la pianista Joanna MacGregor per il City of London Festival nel 2003.
Fin dal 1997 ha fatto più di 50 tour internazionali di letture passando da letture di una sera a soggiorni di insegnamento di tre mesi. È stata Visiting Professor al Barnard College/Columbia University di New York, Writer-in-Residence alla University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, e Writing Fellow alla University of East Anglia. Ha inoltre rappresentato la Gran Bretagna con il romanziere Glenn Patterson, al Literaturexpress Europa 2000, che ha portato 105 scrittori europei attraverso 11 paesi europei in un viaggio di circa sei settimane in treno dal Portogallo a Berlino via Belgio, i paesi Baltici e la Russia.
È Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts.
Vive a Londra insieme a suo marito.

Bernardine Evaristo ha partecipato nel 1998 a "Verba Volant" a Napoli e a Salerno.


"Hello Mum", a novella (Penguin UK, 2010)
"Lara" - new, expanded version (Bloodaxe Books, 2009)
Blonde Roots (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2008 & Riverhead/Penguin, USA in 2009)
Soul Tourists (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2005)
The Emperor's Babe (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2001)
Lara (Angela Royal Publishing, 1997)

Honours and Awards

Her awards and honors include the EMMA Best Book Award, Arts Council Writers Award, a NESTA Fellowship Award, Blonde Roots was long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction and won the inaugural Orange Prize Youth Panel and the Big Red Read Award - both in 2009. Blonde Roots is also currently on the long-list for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In November 2009 The Emperor's Babe was selected by the Times newspaper (UK) as one of the '100 Best Books of the Decade'. Bernardine Evaristo was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 [1], of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

2010 The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (nominee - current) USA
2010 Poetry Book Society Commendation for poetry anthology 'Ten', co-ed with Daljit Nagra
2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (nominated/longlist)
2009 Big Red Read Award (Fiction and overall winner)
2009 Awarded an MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List
2009 Winner, Orange Prize Youth Panel Award
2009 Orange Prize for Fiction (longlist)
2006 Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
2004 Elected a Fellow, Royal Society of Literature
2003 NESTA Fellowship Award
2000 Arts Council Writers Award
1999 BT EMMA Best Book Award

Le opere della Evaristo sono stati per nove volte tra i "Libri dell'anno" sui giornali britannici.

"The Emperor's Babe" è stato scelto dal Times come uno dei migliori 100 libri della decade nel novembre 2009.

Critical Perspective

During the 1990s Bernardine Evaristo emerged as one of Britain's most talented, innovative and successful contemporary writers. Born in London and of mixed European and African parentage, Evaristo' s background has proved an important resource within her fictional writing. The self-consciously hybrid stance she takes in her work has invited comparison with the new generation of British-born, Black British writers like Andrea Levy, Jackie Kay and Hanif Kureishi who, in the words of Caryl Phillips, feel 'both of and not of' this country. Evaristo's writing is clearly energised by her own plural, diasporic heritage which marks her as both a British and a post-colonial writer. For Evaristo to be 'Black' and 'British' is not a contradiction. Her narratives raise crucial questions around what it means to be 'here', producing post-national landscapes in which Britain appears as the crossroads for a series of global movements and migrations. Her fiction makes clear the fact that it is no longer, and more importantly never was, possible to return to a pure, white, Anglo-Saxon Britain prior to immigration.

If Evaristo's writing is notable for the extent to which it transgresses the boundaries of the nation, then it is just as remarkable for the extent to which it challenges the traditional boundaries of literary genre. Her early writing includes the play, 'Moving Through', which was performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs and a collection of poetry, Island of Abraham (1994). However, her more recent work combines in striking and intricate ways the genres of drama, poetry and prose, collapsing the boundaries between them to create what might be described as novels-in-verse.

Lara (1997), her first verse novel was a critical success and reached a number of short lists for literary prizes, winning the EMMA Best Novel Award in 1999. Blending lyrical poetry and fictional prose, fact and fantasy, history and myth, Evaristo's exuberant debut defies easy or singular definition. Set in the 1970s, it tells the story of a young girl growing up in the white London suburb of Woolwich. However, the novel is not as historically or geographically limited as such an account suggests. Lara's journey of self-discovery, as she becomes increasingly aware of her racial difference, is also a journey that takes her to three continents - Africa (Nigeria), Latin America (Brazil) and Europe (Turkey, France, Spain). Lara travels across nations and generations in narrating the life of its protagonist, whose ancestry is Nigerian, Brazilian, English and Irish. In handling this complex genealogy the narrative travels across time and space, transcending the confines of suburban life.

After winning an Arts Council Award in 2000, Evaristo went on to publish her most recent work, The Emperor's Babe (2001). Like Lara, this witty 'novel' evokes a range of disparate voices, histories and landscapes. Set in London in 211 AD, the text centres upon the life of Zuleika, the daughter of Sudanese migrants. The Emperor's Babe uses this life cleverly to recover the neglected early history of the Black experience in Britain. This past, which historians like Peter Fryer have traced back to Roman times, is brought to life in Evaristo's wonderfully inventive verse novel. The ancient Londinium evoked within its pages is no utopian space, but an uneven, divided landscape in which racial, gender and class conflict prevail. The Emperor's Babe does not simply excavate a hidden past that is 'over and done with', it gestures forward to the contemporary city and the current problems associated with urban life in Britain. Evaristo's stylish, early experimental fictions promise much. This is a writer who is pushing not just the boundaries of contemporary British writing, but of what it means to be 'British'.

James Procter, 2002