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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241145783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241145784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,408,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

www.bevaristo.com

Award-winning British writer Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books. She is also an editor, critic, dramatist and essayist. Her writing spans the genres of prose novels, verse-novels, a novel-with-verse, a novella, poetry, non-fiction, literary criticism and radio and theatre drama. Her latest novel, Mr Loverman, is about a 74 yr old Caribbean London man who is closet homosexual (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2013 & Akashic Books, USA, 2014). Her writing is characterised by experimentation, daring and subverting the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities. She has published widely in a variety of publications and anthologies.

Her books are: MR LOVERMAN (Penguin, 2013), HELLO MUM (Penguin 2010), LARA (Bloodaxe 2009), BLONDE ROOTS (Penguin 2008), SOUL TOURISTS (Penguin 2005), THE EMPEROR'S BABE (Penguin 2001), the first version of LARA (ARP 1997), ISLAND OF ABRAHAM (Peepal Tree, 1994). For more information visit BOOKS.

Her awards include a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, EMMA Best Book Award, Big Red Read, Orange Youth Panel Award, NESTA Fellowship Award and an Arts Council Writer's Award. Her books have been a 'Book of the Year' thirteen times in British newspapers and magazines and The Emperor's Babe was a (London) Times 'Book of the Decade'. Hello Mum has been chosen as one of twenty titles for World Book Night in 2014. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she received an MBE in 2009.

Her verse novel The Emperor's Babe was adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play in 2013 and her novella Hello Mum was broadcast as a BBC Radio 4 play in 2012. Her new novel Mr Loverman was optioned by BBC television drama in 2014.

She is co-editor of two recent anthologies and a special issue of Wasafiri magazine: BlackBritain: Beyond Definition, which celebrated and reevaluated the black writing scene in Britain. In 2012 she was guest editor of the winter issue of Poetry Review, Britain's leading poetry journal, in its centenary year. Her issue, Offending Frequencies, featured more poets of colour than had ever previously been published in a single issue of the journal, as well as many female, radical, experimental and outspoken voices. She is guest-editing the September 2014 issue of Mslexia magazine.
Her literary criticism appears in the national newspapers such as theGuardian and Independent and she has judged many literary awards.

She has judged many prizes and she founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize in 2011. http://www.africanpoetryprize.org/

Since 1997 she has accepted invitations to take part in over 100 international visits as a writer. She gives readings and delivers talks, keynotes, workshops and courses.

The first monograph on her work, Fiction Unbound by Sebnem Toplu, was published in August 2011 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Fiction-Unbound-Bernardine-Evaristo1-4438-3153-0.htm
Bernardine's books have been translated into several languages including Mandarin.

Personal
Bernardine Evaristo was born in Woolwich, south east London, the fourth of eight children, to an English mother and Nigerian father. Her father was a welder and local Labour councillor and her mother a schoolteacher. She was educated at Eltham Hill Girls Grammar School, the Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama, and Goldsmiths, University of London, where she earned a PhD in Creative Writing. She spent her teenage years acting at Greenwich Young People's Theatre.

She lives in London with her husband.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I can’t find one fault.
Cat Shannon
As I was reading thorough this novel I was kept wondering wow, how well this author Ms. Evaristo was putting this out to the reader and doing a good job at it.
Arlena
The book is filled with warmth and humour and a very vivid and memorable cast of characters.
Shez Sherreard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R-j L Young on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
I got this book through the LibraryThing Early Review program.

I'll admit: I did not like this book at first blush. I finished the book and couldn't figure out why a quick, engaging, thought-provoking novel left me cold. When I finally figured it out, I realized I did like the book, just not in the way I wanted to, but rather in a better way (which is why it made me think).

The main character, Barry, is the villain of the story. Let me be clear: he is not A villain. Rather he's the villain of the story. He married a woman he did not love to cover up his gay affair, he took her away from her home by moving to a different country, he had two kids with her that he by turns hyper-criticized/spoiled rotten, he didn't leave his wife when the children were grown, he wasn't careful about hiding his affair from his kids (so they grew up in a house of a lot of secrets), and he treated his lover, Morris, abominably for many years. I sympathize with Barry - he had a lot of difficult decisions to make - but he is absolutely the villain of the story. He's created a broken house around himself all because it was more comfortable. He is selfish and sometimes cruel.

That all being said, the writing was excellent. Dialectal differences between characters, accents portrayed in spelling, even the different styles of speaking from the two narrators, were all extremely well executed. The character development, while Barry changes little (in true villain form), was well done for all the others, and it was an incredibly interesting experience to experience the story from the villain's point of view. (To be fair, some people may call Barry an anti-hero, but I don't think he fits that mold as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By IsolaBlue on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Congratulations, Bernardine Evaristo. Hats off to an artist of the written word who can cross gender, nationality, and age lines to portray a most convincing character. In MR. LOVERMAN, Evaristo entertains her readers with a close-up look at Barrington Walker, a closeted gay immigrant from Antigua, West Indies, living in England with his wife of many years. Also in Mr. Walker's life is his friend and lover, Morris; they have been bonded since boyhood, both emigrating from Antigua, marrying women, and raising families all while maintaining a close friendship and discreet love affair.

MR. LOVERMAN is the story of a short period in Mr. Walker's life as a senior citizen (both he and Morris are in their 70s) during which he struggles with the idea of divorcing his wife, coming out, and possibly living his remaining years with his male love. But even in contemporary England doing any of those activities would be difficult for a West Indian gentleman of his generation. And this is what Evaristo does so well: here she is, an English female writer on the younger side writing with incredible feeling, real knowledge, empathy, and understanding of what it means to be West Indian, male, a senior citizen, and closeted gay. How does she accomplish this? It can only be noted that REAL writers - and Evaristo is one - have the ability to move themselves into the bodies, souls, and minds of others who are unlike them and somehow inhabit their spheres. MR. LOVERMAN is a poignant example of how a writer can do this while moving mountains - and moving us, her readers.

One can imagine MR. LOVERMAN as a stage play. There is a great deal of conversation in this book, something that would not ordinarily call for a four or five-star rating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arlena on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Title: Mr. Loverman
Author: Bernadine Evaristo
Publisher: Akashic Books
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5
Review:

"Mr. Loverman" by Bernadine Evaristo was a delightful fiction love read. I found that the author's narrators were splendid giving you such a touching and well written story that I found hard to put down until the very end. The cast of characters were very humorous (some) as well memorable, defined and portrayed. The area of this place in Hackney, London seemed like a place that was describe so very well making you think you were there while you are reading the novel. Be ready for a read where you will find Mr. Loverman involved in his secrecy of what it really meant for him to be free where we find he lives a double life. Who would have thought at a man in his seventies, who had been married over fifty years would have this huge secret that would come out the way it did? And just what was that secret? As I was reading thorough this novel I was kept wondering wow, how well this author Ms. Evaristo was putting this out to the reader and doing a good job at it. I couldn't stop reading just turning the pages to see what was coming next for Mr. Loverman. Yes, it was somewhat heartbreaking read with a 'full bodied riff on sex, secrecy and family' and yet we will find from the read when "Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves." I felt that "Mr. Loverman" was a good read and all I can do now is recommend for you to pick up "Mr. Loverman" and read it for yourself to see what all that has and is going on with this main character.
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