We read amazing books all the time but once in a while, you happen upon a book that changes your life and clears your pores. Girl Woman Other is one of such books. I feel renewed and rejuvenated. Then I found out Bernardine Evaristo will be at Ake Festival this year and I swear I could hear the heavenly choir sing.
Category: Coming-of-Age Fiction, Lesbian literature, Domestic Fiction
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
Published: May 2019, hardback
“Girl, Woman, Other” Blurb
Teeming with life and crackling with energy – a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood.
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.
Should You Bother Reading “Girl, Woman, Other”?
When I requested for this book, I had no idea what Bernardine Evaristo’s style of writing was. I didn’t even know who she was. I saw the blurb and my interest was piqued. These days, I find myself wanting to read more about the experiences of women of African descent around the world and boy did this blow my mind! I wasn’t ready.
I respect that Girl, Woman, Other does not give a damn about form or characterization. If you have a little OCD, it might take you a while to get past the fact that there are no full stops in this book and the sentences begin in small letters. I eventually got into the rhythm after three pages because you’d realise that while the book doesn’t adhere to the conventional rules of “the novel”, there is structure in it.
If I go into any detail about the plot, it will spoil what Evaristo wants you to discover and enjoy. But I will say this, there is a thread that runs each chapter and ties itself like a cute bow at the end. And I love when things are wrapped up with a bow at the end. You will laugh, shake your head, cringe, laugh again, be sad, angry, laugh some more. And when you get to the end, you will let out a deep breathe and be like, “WOW, what a trip!”
I’m officially a loyal fan of Evaristo and I can’t wait to find all her books and read them. I truly feel blessed to be on the same planet with her.
About The Author
Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of seven other books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio.
She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. Among her other honours, The Emperor’s Babe was chosen as one of the Times’ “100 Best Books of the Decade” and Evaristo was named a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for being “a major voice in the multicultural panorama of British literature”.
For more book reviews and bookish features, share this post and subscribe below!