Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other

Paperback - 2019 | First Grove Atlantic paperback edition.
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"Girl, Woman, Other is a celebration of the diversity of Black British experience. Moving, hopeful, and inventive, this extraordinary novel is a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and 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, works hard to earn a degree from Oxford and becomes an 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 and fast-moving form that borrows from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that reminds us of everything that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, [2019]
Edition: First Grove Atlantic paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780802156983
Characteristics: 452 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

In this wonderful Booker Prize-winning novel, Evaristo weaves together a series of portraits of (mostly) women of the African diaspora. Some of the characters are first- and second-generation immigrants from Africa and the British West Indies, and some have made new lives in America. All of them ... Read More »


In this wonderful Booker Prize-winning novel, Evaristo weaves together a series of portraits of (mostly) women of the African diaspora. Some of the characters are first- and second-generation immigrants from Africa and the British West Indies, and some have made new lives in America. All of them ... Read More »

2019 Booker winner

From the critics

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Apr 02, 2021

The lack of capital letters to start sentences and no periods to end them initially put me off Bernardine Evaristo’s lack “Girl, Woman, Other”. It came off as pretentious. I got past that and the first chapter to thoroughly enjoy this collection of interlocking stories about women of color. I recommend it.

Feb 12, 2021

Written in a very unique prose, this book was difficult, at first to get through. But upon finishing it, I understood why it was awarded the Man Booker Prize. Taking you through a number of stories, you are not only exposed to one story of a woman of colour, but a number of stories that each move you in their own way... resulting in a feeling of fulfiment once you flip the last page. Highly suggest if you like good literature.

SPL_HEATHER Feb 09, 2021

Please see summary section for a full review of this book.

Jan 14, 2021

I could not focus, was it me, was it the book?

Dec 22, 2020

One event brings together 12 different women whose stories are interconnected yet all different. Each chapter is dedicated to these stories which shows you what is it like to be a black female in Britain. A unique novel that was enjoyable to read.

Dec 06, 2020

Dude, what's with the lack of punctuation? Did quotation marks go up in price?
Otherwise, pretty rocking!

yoj Oct 14, 2020

Beautiful, unique, different voices. A nice change from the usual and a very sympathetic telling of their stories.

rosinasavino Oct 12, 2020

Ok, so I expected to be in awe of this book, and instead I felt let down. I would not say this is a terribly written book, or that I was bored etc. I would give it 3 stars. My issue was the number of people reading it and raving about it I think impacted on my judgement because I went in thinking this was going to be one of the best books I will read. The book takes us through the lives of a number of women in Britain. Mostly black women who have come from abusive relationships or experienced significant trauma. A number of women identify as LGBTIQ+ and we get to hear the point of view form a person identifying as non-binary. For me, I felt that as soon as I was involved in a story, we were on to the next one and I was forgetting about characters who would then pop up in later stores. I would have preferred say three stories instead of 12 (I think that’s the number). The writing style is quite different i.e. grammar is used differently and at times I enjoyed the unique writing style, and other times I was more focused on that than the story. Overall, not the worst book I have read, but I can’t give it the rave review so many others do.

JCLJenV Oct 09, 2020

A very unique book written in a condensed prose with casual punctuation. A character study of young and old black women in all life stages living in Britain. Each chapter tells the depth of a woman’s story and sometimes the characters overlap in future chapters. Once I got used to the writing style, after a few chapters, I grew to love this book. The author has created such a multi-layered look at what it means to be black and British.

Sep 01, 2020

As an insight on the lives of Black immigrants to the U.K. over generations, this is an eye-opener. It's also a wonderful treatise on the lives of women, and the culture of London, from the 1950s to the present. Watch this book in the next award round, the Women's Prize for Fiction, 9 September 2020.

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Add Notices
Jul 22, 2020

Other: Drug-use, infidelity, racism and sexism (as expected) of a wide range of intensities. Mention (sometimes disparaging) of eating disorders and self-hatred, self-harm, suicidal thoughts.

Jul 22, 2020

Sexual Content: Sex and sexual fantasies, almost all from a female perspective, towards/with partners men, women, NB. Varying in level of explicit detail.

Jul 22, 2020

Violence: Abuse, both threatened and actual, from parents and partners. Rape, including a gang-rape of a thirteen-year-old, from her perspective.

Jul 22, 2020

Coarse Language: A wide range, including slurs and verbal abuse, from strangers and within friends/family groups.


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SPL_HEATHER Feb 09, 2021

Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize for this novel in 2019. Admittedly her success was overshadowed by that of her co-winner, Margaret Atwood, whose novel, The Testaments took half the prize. But Girl, Woman, Other is a powerful contribution to modern literature in its own right and a timely examination of all the different ways black women live in the twenty first century.
Here are twelve loosely connected, but diverse accounts of women whose lives don’t fall into the stereotypical accounts of the black experience. The characters are multidimensional, flawed and full of love, friendship, and sexual complexity. For example, there’s Carole, a successful banker, married to a wealthy, privately educated white man. Carole is in constant conflict with her traditional Nigerian mother, Bummi, who can't understand why Carole won't conform to traditional black values. And then there’s Hattie, a family matriarch living in a remote hill farm in northern England with a family that can’t wait to get its hands on her money.
Girl, Woman, Other is a rich, polyphonic snapshot of what it means to be a black woman in Britain today and it was one of my favourite books of the last year. Incidentally it was also on Barack Obama’s list of favourite books of 2019 ! It’s available in various formats at the Stratford Public Library.


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