Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other is the award-winning novel by Britsh novelist, Bernadine Evaristo which was published in 2019 by Penguin Books and received the highly coveted accolade of Booker Prize winner 2019, along with the joint winner The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.
This book has several trigger warnings including domestic abuse and child rape.
Amma’s play The Last Amazons of Dahomey is being performed at the The National Theatre, marking a grand achievement for her career in the arts and herein we have the foundation upon which the rest of the story is based.
Girl, Woman, Other is bold, out-spoken and subversive. It tells the stories of twelve different individuals, mostly Black British females whose lives all converge in some way. The variety of perspectives in this book, whilst mostly black and female, was wonderfully diverse, ranging from that of an artist who is aggressively lesbian to a mixed race trans influencer to a liberalist elderly woman who walks about her draughty farmhouse barefoot in the winter.
This book portrays London through a completely unfiltered lens that is conscious of the vibrant diversity of its inhabitants, ranging in sexual and gender representation. It has a subversive writing style that took some time for me to become fully comfortable with but felt very purposeful, almost as though the lack of syntax was a metaphor for not fitting into the status quo.
Though the second part of the story lost its initial momentum and the narrative began to slow in pacing, it still felt deeply meaningful and intuitive in a way that was profound. It explored all its characters extremely well, giving seemingly antagonistic characters a very layered development.
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