Posted on June 30, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Two authors made history at the British Book Awards last night.

Candice Carty-Williams became the first Black author to take home the book of the year award (for Queenie) while Bernardine Evaristo became the first Black winner of author of the year.

(Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other also took home fiction book of the year.)

Carty-Williams described herself as “sad and confused” over her groundbreaking win, but also hopeful that although I’m the first, the industry are waking up to the fact that I shouldn’t and won’t be the last.”

Evaristo, whose joint Booker Prize victory in 2019 was also a milestone, saw her latest honor as proof that publishers are at least for now listening to advocacy groups such as the Black Writers’ Guild as they call for increased recognition, representation, and diversity in the publishing industry.

The Guardian also noted that for the first time, a Black author won the crime and thriller book of the year award: Oyinkan Braithwaite for My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Check out a complete list of winners and shortlists on the Bookseller's website.

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