KEY POINTS

  • Candice Carty-Williams has made history by becoming the first Black British female author to receive the Book of the Year accolade at the British Book Awards
  • Carty-Williams won the award for her debut novel "Queenie"
  • Apart from Carty-Williams, Oyinkan Braithwaite and Bernardine Evaristo also won other top prizes

Candice Carty-Williams has made history by becoming the first Black British female author to receive the Book of the Year accolade at this year’s British Book Awards.

According to the Independent, the author won the prestigious award for her debut novel “Queenie.” The book chronicles the journey of a young black woman who tries to navigate her life and love in London. She competed against authors like Oyinkan Braithwaite (“My Sister, the Serial Killer”) and Lisa Taddeo (“Three Women”) to win the prestigious award.

After winning the trophy, Cart-Williams stated that she is really “grateful” for the win. However, the author admitted that she was “sad” to know that she is the first Black woman to ever win the accolade. 

In a statement given to The Guardian, Carty-Williams noted that she might be the first one to win the award, but she’s certainly not the last one.

“Overall, this win makes me 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,” Carty-Williams told the publication.  

The other other top prizes went to Bernardine Evaristo and Braithwaite. Evaristo won the Author of the Year trophy for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other.” The prestigious honor comes after the book won the Booker Prize in 2019.

Braithwaite’s crime novel “My Sister, the Serial Killer” was awarded the Book of the Year in Crime and Thriller genre.

Evaristo was quite excited after her name was announced and noted that this is an “interesting moment” in cultural history because of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This is such an interesting moment in our cultural history because the Black Lives Matter movement has generated an unprecedented amount of self-interrogating in the publishing industry,” The Guardian quoted Evaristo, as saying.

Here’s the full list of winners at the 2020 British Book Awards:

Author of the Year – Bernardine Evaristo

Book of the Year – “Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams

Children’s Book of the Year – “A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder” by Holly Jackson

Fiction Book of the Year – “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo

Crime and Thriller Book of the Year – “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Candice Carty-Williams Author Candice Carty-Williams attends a photo call during Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 on August 15, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images

– “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo

Crime and Thriller Book of the Year – “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite