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Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,1021026,319 (4.26)1 / 272
"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.… (more)
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» See also 272 mentions

English (97)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (102)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
I loved how each of the (many) characters had such distinct personalities and viewpoints. This felt like a four star read to me most of the way through, but then I felt like it really deserved five stars when everything tied together perfectly in the end. Evaristo definitely deserved to win the Booker. It's a shame she had to share it though because this book is just better than The Testaments. ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
I loved this book so much!

This was not a typical novel with a beginning/CRISIS/conclusion. Instead this was a profile of a number of different women who's lives intersect - sometimes unknowingly. Most but not all of the women live in London. Most but not all of the women are black. Most but not all of the women pursue non-traditional lifestyles.

Over the course of the book, we see these women from many points of view and at various ages. They don't always see themselves the same way others see them.

While there was no unifying story line at all, many stories emerged across relationships, across generations and across time and geography. Many but not all of the characters are brought together in the end of the book. And the final prologue brought tears to my eyes. ( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
Loved this! I did get a bit confused between some of the characters, but that's probably because I read it quickly. I would like to read it again, but there are so many other books to read!

I found it very easy to read and funny in a lot of places. It was another good reminder to me to give people the benefit of the doubt as I don't know their story.

Might come back and give this five stars ( )
  KWharton | Jun 15, 2022 |
A collection of character sketches/biographies of a collection of interwoven friends and acquaintances and their ancestors. It is set in England, most of the characters, black females, numerous LBGQT. Very well written and insightful. ( )
  snash | Jun 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 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
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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
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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"--Provided by publisher.

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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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