Girl, Woman, Other
Author: Bernardine Evaristo
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
Publishing Date: May 2019
Genre: LGBT Fiction
Cost: Rs. 944 (Paperback), Rs. 343.45 (Kindle Edition), Rs. 703 (Hardcover)
Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.
Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.
Girl, Woman, Other (2019) tells the stories of a loosely connected group of people - mostly black women in complex mother-daughter relationships - across 120 years of British history, from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day.
Bernardine Evaristo colours a contemporary Britain that is not often seen and is challenging. The author gives us a glimpse of its past, present and future, with an effortless feminist narrative that goes back and forth in time and in an unconventional structure, poetic prose, and not following any of the normal conventions of English punctuation.
She presents us with a broad and diverse spectrum of black women's voices, all distinct, from differing backgrounds, ages, roots, class, occupations, families, from many parts of the country and sexuality in all its forms. It speaks of race, living and surviving in a white dominant culture and its implications and repercussions, the broad church of thinking when it comes to the definition of black and the questions of identity.
The 12 protagonists are all fictional, of different ages, with different cultural and social backgrounds and with different personalities, and the book provides its readers with the women's life stories filled with different circumstances, although not intruding their privacy but keeping a comfortable distance from them.
Evaristo shows women as social climbers, single mothers, survivors of abuse, victims of sexism and racism, lovers, wives, widows, daughters, grandmothers, VPs, teachers, cleaning women, artists, college students, school dropouts, immigrants and the children of immigrants, and in many other roles.
The book's characters cross paths in different ways, their individual stories are incorporated to contradict or perhaps draw a line of various contrasts of these female experiences. What the book also does is compare them to bring forth the similarities and consolidating attributes. It has already been established as to why this book and it’s representation of women is so apt and necessary keeping in mind the current socio-political scenario of the world but it goes ahead and also paints the female representation of contemporary Britain which is often overlooked.
Milestones of the Book:
- Bernardine Evaristo 's ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ was joint winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize, alongside Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’.
- It was also was shortlisted for the 2019 Gordon Burn Prize.
The book is identified as;
- TIME’s 100 Must Read Books,
- CBC's 28 Best International Fiction,
- Elle's 13 Best Feminist Books,
- Amazon’s Editors’ Pick of the Year and;
- Apple Book’s Best of the Year, as well as The Times’s Best Audio Book of 2019.
About the Author:
The fourth of eight siblings, Bernardine Evaristo was raised in Woolwich, South London, and originally trained as an actress and worked in theatre. She is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels-in-verse: Lara (1997), which traces the roots of a mixed-race English-Nigerian-Brazilian-Irish family over 150 years, three continents and seven generations; and The Emperor's Babe (2001), the ground-breaking tragi-comic story of Zuleika. Her novel Blonde Roots was published in 2008, and in 2010, she wrote Hello Mum, Mr Loverman (2014) which is about a 74 year old Caribbean London man who is closet homosexual.
Evaristo has also written for theatre, radio, and print media and for a multi-media collaboration Cityscapes with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and pianist Joanna MacGregor for the City of London Festival in 2003. She has undertaken over 50 international writers' tours since 1997.
She has been the writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. She also represented Britain, with the novelist Glenn Patterson, on Literaturexpress Europa 2000, which took 105 European writers through 11 European countries over six weeks by train, travelling from Portugal to Berlin via Belgium, the Baltics and Russia.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, and was awarded an MBE in 2009. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.