Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora including Mr Loverman (Penguin 2013), Hello Mum (Penguin, 2010), Lara (Bloodaxe 2009), Blonde Roots (Penguin 2008), Soul Tourists (Penguin 2005) and The Emperor's Babe (Penguin 2001). Two of her novels have been adapted into BBC R4 plays since 2012. She is a literary critic for the national newspapers and editor of anthologies and special issues including the centenary Winter 2012 issue of Poetry Review. She has been on over 80 international tours as a writer and chaired and judged many literary prizes. A former actress and arts manager, she has also been initiating and producing black and multicultural arts projects since 1982. Bernardine has a PhD in Creative Writing and is Reader in Creative Writing at Brunel University, London. She has won several awards for her writing and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, and she was made an MBE in 2009.