Unexpectedly, this turned out to be a joyous book. The 12 characters, mostly black British women, confront racism, sexism and, in some cases, violence, and somehow transcend the limitations forced on them. I loved the way the book was crafted and layered and how it arced and connected all the characters. A very beguiling and graceful read. Recommended By Sheila N., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain's colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.
The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London's funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley's former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole's mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter's lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class.
Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.
"Marvelous....In prose that defies many of the rules of punctuation, and feels all the more immediate for it...Summons up a limitless canvas of black female experience that's by turns funny, acutely observed and heart-snagging. Terrific." Metro
"A breathtaking symphony of black women's voices, a clear-eyed survey of contemporary challenges that's nevertheless wonderfully life-affirming...Together, all these women present a cross-section of Britain that feels godlike in its scope and insight." Washington Post
"Girl, Woman, Other is an exceptional work, presenting an alternative history of Britain and a dissection of modern Britain that is witty, exhilarating and wise." Nikesh Shukla, author and editor of The Good Immigrant
"The voices of black women come to the fore in a swirl of interrelated stories that cover the past century of British life. Wide-ranging, witty and wise." Sunday Times
About the Author
Anglo-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the celebrated author of eight books, which have been nominated for awards including the 2019 Booker Prize. Her writing is characterized by experimentation, daring, subversion, and challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities, and her books range in genre from poetry to short story to drama to criticism. She lives in London.