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Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,0501294,402 (4.25)1 / 308
"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"--… (more)
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» See also 308 mentions

English (120)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (128)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Extraordinary. Will let it settle but this could well be my book of the year....one that practically vibrates with energy, character and humanity. The absence of conventional punctuation might have seemed pretentious in other hands but Bernardine Evaristo isn’t any old pair of hands. Her choices allow the language to flow like poetry...instead, the spaces speak. Her collection of sometimes loosely, sometimes tightly intertwined stories, told from viewpoints along the spectrum of race, time, and gender, are revealed with simultaneous economy and richness. Beautiful, uncomfortable, shattering, wonderful. ( )
  LolaReads | Dec 26, 2023 |
I really liked the symphony of voices and stories, and pieces of a mosaic slowly coming together. Every story made you see the characters that you already got to know in a slightly different light. It was an interesting shift in perspectives that I enjoyed following. This is also a book it is difficult to be "free" of, I am still hearing all the voices in my head. A great read and a well-deserved Booker. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
One of the most disappointing things as a reader is to not love a book you were sure you would love. I can see why this won the Booker (and should have been solo). Evaristo uses an interesting structure to tell the life story of twelve diverse women in linked stories/portraits, the writing was clearly good, and it captured a slice of contemporary life we don't usually see. But I was curiously unmoved by what should have been moving stories. I have no explanation, but what other readers found energizing, I found emotionally flat. Perhaps a book to revisit somewhere down the line. ( )
  mmcrawford | Dec 5, 2023 |
Unequivocally the best book I have read this year.

Every page is perfect, every sentence, gosh, every word. Evaristo takes twelve vastly different women, connected in ways obvious and subtle, profiling their lives, their agonies, their battles and loves, self-deceptions, losses, doubts, and triumphs. Throughout she maintains that delicate ironic tone that characterises much of the best of British literature.

This is a book very much of the now, touching on numerous current cultural debates, in a manner that feels authentic and precise. It is a truly polyphonic experience. This is great literature but also very much a novel in every sense of the word.

I cannot recommend highly enough. ( )
1 vote therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
I almost didn't read this book because it was described as "free verse," which isn't my favorite genre. However, I opened it up and Bernardine Evaristo drew me into stories upon stories that intertwined and circled back to people whose life stories I devoured. I can understand why this book won the 2019 Booker Prize. It is unforgettable, and the women whose lives I entered through this book will be in my heart and mind forever. A must-read for anyone interested in women's stories, England and the immigrant black experience there, and history. Most highly recommended. ( )
1 vote sharishaw49 | Sep 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Evaristo, Bernardineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bravery, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, AliCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nabirye, Anna-MariaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Singh, KaranCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, LetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
For the sisters & the sistas & the sistahs & the sistren & the women & the womxn & the wimmin & the womyn & our brethren & our bredrin & our brothers & our bruvs & our men & our mandem & the LGBTQI+ members of the human family.
First words
Amma

is walking along the promenade of the waterway that bisects her city, a few early morning barges cruise slowly by

to her left is the nautical-themed footbridge with its deck-like walkway and sailing mast pylons

to her right is the bend in the river as it heads east past Waterloo Bridge towards the dome of St Paul's

she feels the sun begin to rise, the air still breezy before the city clogs up with heat and fumes

a violinist plays something suitably uplifting further along the promenade

Amma's play, The Last Amazon of Dahomey, opens at the National tonight
Quotations
when they leave uni it's gonna be with a huge debt and crazy competitions for jobs and the outrageous rental prices out there mean that her generation will have to move back home forever, which will lead to even more of them despairing of the future and what with the plant about to go shit with the United Kingdom soon to be disunited from Europe which itself is hurtling down the reactionary road and making fascism fashionable again and it's so crazy that the disgusting perma-tanned biliionaire has set a new intellectual and moral low by being president of America and basically it all means that the older generation has ruined everything and her generation is dooooooomed
this metal-haired wild creature from the bush with the piercingly feral eyes
is her mother
this is she
this is her
who cares about her colour? why on earth did Penelope ever think it mattered
a mouth that holds all her misery like a drawstring tightened around a pouch
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

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Wikipedia in English

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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"--

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Book description
Teeming with energy, humour and heart, a love song to black Britain told by twelve very different people.

Winner of the Booker Prize 2019.

Grace is a Victorian orphan dreaming of the mysterious African father she will never meet.

Winsome is a young Windrush bride, recently arrived from Barbados.

Amma is the fierce queen of her 1980s squatters' palace.

Morgan, who used to be Megan, is blowing up on social media, the newest activist-influencer on the block.

Twelve very different people, mostly black and female, more than a hundred years of change, and one sweeping, vibrant, glorious portrait of contemporary Britain. Bernardine Evaristo presents a gloriously new kind of history for this old country: ever-dynamic, ever-expanding and utterly irresistible.
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