Girl, Woman, Other
“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.” —Booker Prize Judges
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.
“Evaristo is known for narratives that weave through time and place with crackling originality. Girl, Woman, Other is no exception.”—Vogue
“Ambitious, flowing and all-encompassing, [Evaristo] jumps from life to life weaving together personal tales and voices in an offbeat narrative that’ll leave your mind in an invigorated whirl. This is an exceptional book that unites poetry, social history, women’s voices and beyond. You have to order it right now in fact.”—Stylist
“Spanning a century and following the intertwined lives of twelve people, this is a paean to what it means to be black, British and female. Evaristo’s prose hums with life as characters seem to step off the page fully formed. At turns funny and sad, tender and true, this book deserves to win awards.”—Red
Penguin UK, (2020)