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Girl, Woman, Other

(10 customer reviews)

$17.00$27.00

by Bernardine Evaristo

Synopsis

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

“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 a 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.

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About this book

418 Pages
8 - 9 Hours to read
113k Total words

Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE
“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 JudgesBernardine 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 a 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.


  • Grove Atlantic; November 2019
  • ISBN: 9780802156990
  • Title: Girl, Woman, Other
  • Series: Booker Prize Winner
  • Author: Bernardine Evaristo
  • Imprint: Grove Press, Black Cat
  • Language: English

In The Press

Praise for Girl, Woman, Other:

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019
Named One of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2019
Named Roxane Gay’s Favorite Book of 2019
Named Author of the Year by the British Book Awards
Winner of the Indie Book Award for Fiction (UK) and the British Fiction Book of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Gordon Burn Prize, a Publishing Triangle Award, the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award, the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and the Visionary Honours Award
Longlisted for the Australian Book Industry Award
Named an Amazon Best Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by the New YorkerWashington Post, NPR, Entertainment WeeklyTimeVogueSeattle TimesLiterary HubGuardianSunday TimesFinancial TimesTimes Literary SupplementKirkus ReviewsShelf Awareness, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Washington Independent Review of BooksNew StatesmanEvening Standard, and the Daily Telegraph

Girl, Woman, Other received half a Booker Prize, but it deserves all the glory . . . 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.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A big, busy novel with a large root system . . . Evaristo has a gift for appraising the lives of her characters with sympathy and grace while gently skewering some of their pretensions . . . Evaristo’s lines are long, like Walt Whitman’s or Allen Ginsberg’s, and there are no periods at the ends of them. There’s a looseness to her tone that gives this novel its buoyancy. Evaristo’s wit helps too.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times

“The ambition of this novel, the inventive structure and syntax, the grand scope, all make for the most absorbing book I read all year. The characters are so richly drawn, so intimately known by Evaristo, and so perfectly rendered on the page. This novel is a master class in storytelling. It is absolutely unforgettable. When I turned the final page, I felt the ache of having to leave the world Evaristo created but I also felt the excitement of getting to read the book all over again. It should have won the Booker alone. It deserves all the awards and then some.”—Roxane Gay, Gay Magazine

“Exuberant, capacious, and engaging . . . Complex, astute, painful, funny, enlightening, and most of all enjoyable . . . An elegant and compulsively readable account of the black women of England . . . Plumbing the many dimensions of her characters’ lives, Evaristo revels in universals and singularities alike . . . The final scene triumphantly pulls together the novel’s dominant themes. I laughed, I cried, I turned the last page fully satisfied.”—Rebecca Steinitz, Boston Globe

“A sprawling book, but too intimate to be considered an epic . . . Each of these characters—and indeed the doting spouses, or abusive girlfriends, or foul-mouthed school chums, or lecherous preachers, or the rest of the human parade—feels specific, and vibrant, and not quite complete, insofar as the best fictional characters remain as elusive and surprising as real people are. This is a feat; the whole book is . . . Evaristo is a gifted portraitist, and you marvel at both the people she conjures and the unexpected way she reveals them to you . . . Yes, prizes are silly. But sometimes they’re deserved.”—Rumaan Alam, New Republic

“[Girl, Woman, Other is] about almost everything. Politics, parenthood, sexuality, racism and colorism, immigration, domestic violence, infidelity, friendship, love, all the ways we misunderstand each other, the way life surprises us with its unfolding. This is a partial list . . . Bernardine is here to turn on the lights, give you your money’s worth, and let you decide for yourself.”—Marion Winik, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Deserves every accolade, and more . . . A creative and technical marvel—a sprawling, unpunctuated, and improbably joyful account of twelve interconnected characters in modern-day Britain . . . A book so bursting with wit, empathy, and insight, its clear-eyed reflections on race and feminism hardly ever feel like polemics; there’s too much pure, vivid life on every page.”Entertainment Weekly

“[Evaristo] is a master at parsing out individual voices while also collaging them into a beautiful chorus, exploring the ways identities and people’s lives intersect.”—Katie Yee, Literary Hub

“Compulsively readable . . . There’s something truly pleasurable to watching a virtuoso at work, and Evaristo’s ability to switch between voices, between places, and between moods brings to mind an extraordinary conductor and her orchestra.”Paris Review

Girl, Woman, Other changed my thinking.”—Tom Stoppard, Times Literary Supplement

“Not just one of my favorite books of this year, but one of the most insightful books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading . . . In this inspired piece of writing, Evaristo examines the realities and complexities of womanhood in the UK.”—Nicola Sturgeon, Guardian

“Look no further than Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other for the most distinctive novel of the year . . . Superlatives pale in the shadow of the monumental achievement of Girl, Woman, Other. Few adjectives suffice. It’s hard not to overpraise this brilliant novel. Evaristo’s verbal acrobatics do things language shouldn’t be able to do. It’s a Cirque du Soleil of fiction. Readers should put down whatever book they’re reading and immerse themselves in this one. Bernardine Evaristo is the writer of the year. Girl, Woman, Other is the book of the decade.”Washington Independent Review of Books

“The novel flows seamlessly, like water, from thought to thought, character to character . . . Eminently readable and emotionally intense.”New York Journal of Books

“Magnificent . . . As she creates a space for immigrants and the children of immigrants to tell their stories, Evaristo explores a range of topics both contemporary and timeless. There is room for everyone to find a home in this extraordinary novel. Beautiful and necessary.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Evaristo beguiles with her exceptional depictions of a range of experiences of black British women . . . A stunning powerhouse of vibrant characters and heartbreaks.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Courageous . . . Hearing from mothers and their children, teachers and their students across generations, readers might expect that they’ll get to see just what these characters can’t know about one another, but they won’t imagine the dazzling specificities nor the unspooling dramas; they will be entertained, educated, and riveted.”Booklist (starred review)

Girl, Woman, Other, the intermingling stories of generations of black British women told in a gloriously rich and readable free verse, will surely be seen as a landmark in British fiction.”Guardian

“In Girl, Woman, Other, Evaristo adopts an even bigger canvas, with a sparkling new novel of interconnected stories . . . In Evaristo’s eighth book she continues to expand and enhance our literary canon. If you want to understand modern day Britain, this is the writer to read.”New Statesman

“Brims with vitality . . . The form [Evaristo] chooses here is breezily dismissive of convention. The flow of this prose-poetry hybrid feels absolutely right, with the pace and layout of words matched to the lilt and intonation of the characters’ voices . . . She captures the shared experience that make us, as she puts it in her dedication, ‘members of the human family.’”Financial Times

“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, it’s a book that does new things with the novel form.”Sunday Times

“This masterful novel is a choral love song to black womanhood.”Elle (UK)

“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

“Marvelous . . . [The characters] sing off the page as they negotiate their own way of being through the prisms of race and gender. 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 magnificent read from a writer with a gift for humanity.”Observer

“Beautiful, hilarious and moving homage to what it means to be black and British. Girl, Woman, Other celebrates the rich variety of black women across generations.”Refinery29

“Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life.”—Ali Smith, author of Spring

“There is an astonishing uniqueness to Bernardine Evaristo’s writing, but especially showcased in Girl, Woman, Other. How she can speak through twelve different people and give them each such distinct and vibrant voices is astonishing. I loved it. So much.”—Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie

“Hilarious, heart-breaking, and honest. Generations of women and the people they have loved and unloved—the complexities of race, sex, gender, politics, friendship, love, fear and regret. The complications of success, the difficulties of intimacy. I truly haven’t enjoyed reading a book in so long.”—Warsan Shire, author of Teaching My Grandmother How to Give Birth

“Bernardine Evaristo’s books are always exciting, always subversive, a reminder of the boundless possibilities of literature and the great worth in reaching for them. Her body of work is incredible.”—Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People

“Once again, Bernardine Evaristo reminds us she is one of Britain’s best writers, an iconic and unique voice, filled with warmth, subtly and humanity. 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

“Bernardine Evaristo is without doubt one of the most important voices in contemporary British literature. Her phenomenal writing gets at the heart of what affects and concerns us most in these times.”—Jacob Ross, author of The Bone Readers

Girl, Woman, Other is brilliant. I feel like a ghost walking in and out and in again on different people’s lives, different others. Some I feel close to, some I feel I must have met and some are so ‘other’ that I have to stretch myself to see them. Mind expanding.”—Philippa Perry, author of How To Be a Parent

“Bernardine Evaristo is one of those writers who should be read by everyone, everywhere. Her tales marry down-to-earth characters with engrossing storylines about the UK today.”—Elif Shafak, author of Three Daughters of Eve

“Bernardine Evaristo is the most daring, ambitious, imaginative and innovative of writers, and Girl, Woman, Other is a fantastic novel that takes fiction and black women’s stories into new directions.”—Inua Ellams, author of The Half God of Rainfall

“For a fresh and inspiring take on writing about the African diaspora, there’s nothing like a new book by Bernardine Evaristo. Somehow she does it every time!”—Margaret Busby, editor of Daughters of Africa


About The Author

Anglo-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the celebrated author of eight books and winner of 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.

Additional information

FORMAT

Hardcover, Paperback

10 reviews for Girl, Woman, Other

  1. Jane

    Girl, Woman, OtherI have read books before that have been praised by others. Books that have won awards, as this one has, but truthfully I was disappointed when I read the book.This is definitely not one of those books. I was hooked from the first page and the book never let go of me.While reading this book I laughed at places. At other, times I felt such anger but at the same time I was crying, specifically at what happened to Carol. I want to reach through the pages and grab those animals, I will not call men that rape thirteen-year girl humans. Let just say this novel is a roller coaster ride with your emotions.It is a book about women what they think, it is snapshots into their lives. I loved the connections between the different women. Each woman has her own distinct voice.I could not pick a favorite moment, as there were so many, but what Winsome did with her son-in-law, would make the list, it was shocking.I love to read books with strong women’s voices. For so much of history, women were unheard.I encourage everyone to read this book. I know you will enjoy it.

  2. COH

    This is not a book that I would choose to read for myself but a friend who shares my literary tastes suggested it and I am so glad she did. This book was like nothing I have read before…and it didn’t take long to embrace the style. I am a stickler for grammar, literate writing with strong descriptive power. While some reviewers would disagree, this book hits every mark. This book is “alternative” in so many ways: alternative format, alternative lifestyles, alternative cultures, personalities, gender and sexual identities and labels. But if I learned one thing from the book (and I learned a million), it was not to use judgmental language or labels…so toss the “alternative.”The author’s descriptive power kept me in the book; while there was not one character with whom I could relate, she kept me fascinated by the word rich passages; one phrase could elicit so many thoughts, ideas, questions…and she offered an education for my generation which is confused about the myriad terms that describe gender and sexual identity. I only wish there had been notes to remind me of how the different characters intersect. Yes, this book is not about me or anyone like me, or about any of my friends…but it has shown me a small slice of a world that is real, it has deepened my compassion and my gratitude, and it has encouraged me to stay engaged with a modern world which can be brutal, unjust, judgmental, racist and sexist. For those of us who do not need to war against this world every day, it is healthy and useful to look at the truth of those who do. But at the end what I remember is the incredible descriptions, apt, funny, resonating, incisive – little stories in and of themselves!

  3. Gogoco

    I love each and every one of the fascinating characters. The web that entwined each one to the other. The mix of race and fluidity of each persons sexuality. This is a story of life, of womankind and how we are all connected.

  4. Atara Bieler

    Many women told in many voices, all of which are necessary. Sometimes the author speaks proper English and the heroes speak in African accent such as “likkle island” yet sometimes she joins them and starts speaking herself as one of them, pouring herself into them. This is a book about women yet it is about people in general told through women. There are more types of women than i had thought before and am grateful for Bernadine Evaristo for showing me this kind of light.

  5. Tamara

    I’m usually skeptical about Prize winning books and often wonder he in the world they deserve the prize but…this book is a winner! An absolutely amazing book. The words tumble over one another and yet the reader is never confused as stories merge, separate, reconfigure, and then merge again.

  6. Ada

    Loved the unique writing style employed in this novel. Ms. Evaristo is undeniably gifted. You know an author is good when her work makes you want to write.

  7. Carole Chris

    While some reviewers said they were confused by the way the different women’s lives were interwoven in this book I thought it was a great technique and reflects how real life works for people who are stretching their boundaries and connected to different parts of the world. I dont think the stories are necessarily only reflective of the UK, but could be set in many countries with a diverse population that includes significant immigration from Africa, the Middle or Far East. Although were might be some localized/insider familiarity with the neighborhoods of London and areas of the country that I would have missed not knowing much about contemporary UK, it didnt detract for me and might make the read even more enjoyable for those more familiar. While exploring the lives of LGBT women of color, I found the stories universal and thus all the more powerful about women’s struggles generally.

  8. traveler

    So many personalities. So many women of substance. So many taking the path not taken and are the better for having done their authentic best as much as they could.

  9. R F

    I don’t feel like I’m a prude but it didn’t take me long to know this wasn’t going to be the book for me. I know there are alternative lifestyles out there and there are some in my family, but that doesn’t mean that I want to be delving into the intimate lives.

  10. C. Rizzardi

    I loved the book. Beautiful written in a multitude of voices, stories that need to be told and heard.I read this on a Kindle, and I have to ask if the lack of capital letters at the start of sentences and other syntaxical issues were peculiar to the Kindle edition or a stylistic choice by the author.

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