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Girl, Woman, Other

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  4,060 ratings  ·  663 reviews
Joint Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019

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.

Hardcover, UK, 453 pages
Published May 2nd 2019 by Hamish Hamilton
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Joana Estou, bastante mesmo!Quando quiseres mandar mais páginas estás à vontade! ;)

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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  4,060 ratings  ·  663 reviews

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Gumble's Yard
Winner (jointly) of the 2019 Booker Prize - perhaps appropriately given its closing words

this is about being

A book I have read and loved three times so I was delighted to be present for its win and to get these photos



When hearing the winner announcement I immediately thought of a passage very early in the book when it says

Amma then spent decades on the fringe, a renegade lobbing hand grenades at the establishment that excluded her

until the mainstream began to absorb what was once
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After hearing so much about this novel, a joint winner of the Booker prize, I was incredibly keen to read this. Bernardine Evaristo writes vibrantly of a contemporary Britain that is rarely seen, challenging, giving us a glimpse of its past, present and future, with a seamless feminist narrative that goes back and forth in time, an unconventional structure, poetic prose, and a disregard of the normal conventions of punctuation. She presents us with a broad and diverse spectrum of black women's ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Polyphonic choir of women, singing a song of life in dissonances and harmonies!

This may well be my favourite book of 2019, curing a stress-related Reader's Block with instant effect.

Sharing is caring, and Bernardine Evaristo shares life experiences that stretch a century back in time and move towards our immediate, contemporary world. She cares for her characters, and that results in the reader caring too.

I found myself identifying with a bitter school teacher, with a strong creative woman
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk, 2019-booker
Winner of the Booker Prize 2019 (together with The Testaments)
This panoramic, polyphonic novel reflects the lives of (mostly black) women in Britain, and its narrative approach could be described as literary docu-fiction: 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 condensed life stories, packed with information, always keeping a certain observational
Nat K
Joint Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019

”On Our Own Terms or Not At All.”

Twelve stories from twelve women.

When I started reading this, the stories seemed straightforward. Deceptively simple & relatively harmless. At face value they seemed to be about “women’s stuff”.

Was I wrong! Upfront, this review will be all over the shop. Bear with. There is just so much going on in this book, it’s a challenge for me to reflect this properly in this review.

We meet women of different ages,
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The novel opens with Amma just about to open her play, “The Last Amazon of Dahomy”, at the National Theatre. She reminisces about her friend Dominique and the days when they were starting out in theatre. The days they would heckle and disrupt any shows that offended them. She remembers how firmly they both believed in their public protests.
Because of their strong political views and protests, both girls found it impossible to find work as actresses, so they
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I snuck one more book in from the Booker Prize shortlist before it is awarded tonight. This book doesn't come out in the United States until December 3, but I was able to get a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.

Girl, Woman, Other follows a string of women in the UK, and all are women of color with a fair amount of varying sexual orientation. Each section has its own voice and style while the characters interact with each other throughout (so the reader gets different
Katia N
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Update: This predictably has won the Booker 2019 (jointly). And if it is the best book of the shortlist, I am very happy about my decision not to spend time reading any others shortlisted this year.

Original review:

Unfortunately I ended up disappointed by this book, though I really wanted to like it. In fact, it is the only book from this year Booker I’ve decided to read. (I’ve read two others before they were long listed. ) It seems this book is widely admired by others. But it has fallen quite
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I started Girl, Woman, Other on the morning of the day it was announced as one of two Booker prize winners this year. I was vaguely aware it had been nominated and had no idea it was going to win that day. But I’m happy to see that it won. I absolutely loved it. It will likely be my favourite novel of the year. It feels original and contemporary, while delivering great characters and good storytelling. Evaristo tells the story of 14 interconnected characters — primarily women of colour in ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2019, fiction
Girl, Woman, Other is the winner of the Booker Prize 2019 and deservedly so. Bernardine Evaristo has written a powerful story featuring 12 mostly black female characters of different ages from a teenager to a great grandmother from different backgrounds living in the UK. The novel captures a portrayal of modern Britain, presenting 12 original tales of women and their struggles of living in a predominantly white society. Each tale is unique, yet they are all linked. There's a lot packed in this ...more
Update: (Joint) Winner of the Man Booker Prize

Had it not been for its Man Booker Prize longlisting and subsequent short-listing, who knows if I’d have read Girl, Woman, Other. Many thanks to Grove Press, Black Cat for the eARC.

Girl, Woman, Other is a perfectly titled novel. This time, you won’t hear me complain about “yet another girl book”. This novel is made up of twelve interconnected chapters that focus on a certain woman, eleven of them black, one not knowing she had black genes.

Deserved Winner of the Booker Prize 2019

This was my first experience of reading Evaristo, and on balance it was a positive one. It occupies the grey area between short story collection and novel - each of the first 12 sections could be a story in its own right, and relates the life story of a different woman (or in one case a trans person) and all of them have at least some black roots ((view spoiler)).

They represent a
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joint-winner of the Booker Prize 2019 .

I'm going to overlook the few problems this has and simply rate it in direct proportion to how much of an antidote it is to the jokers who are currently trying to destroy the UK, and how much I think everyone should read it, especially if they want to remind themselves what defiantly empathetic, perfectly-controlled, generous, funny, unflinching-yet-uplifting fiction looks like.
Erin Glover
I put this book down after spending 452 pages reading about lesbians, transexuals, polyamorous people, gender non-conformists, black feminists, white feminists, gay men, transvestites and I was left with one overarching feeling: we're all the same. No matter how one identifies or one's orientation, we are all people who want to be loved, who have feelings, who suffer, who experience joy.

This message that we’re more alike than we might believe is brought home at the end of the novel where after
Britta Böhler
I'm in the minority here because I didnt like this book. It irked the hell out of me that it seems all that (straight) women REALLY want is... a man.
Here is my review on YouTube:
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Booker Prize 2019. Evaristo follows the lives of twelve different women—mostly women of color living in the United Kingdom. They are from different generations, faiths, classes and backgrounds. It is as if a videographer first follows one character, learning about the arc of their life, before turning to another. As such, there is an aspect of continuous stream of consciousness that is reinforced by the complete lack of punctuation. [I think there are a total of two periods in the whole ...more
Eric Anderson
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve mentioned in the past how novels which are more like books of interconnected short stories are my favourite kind. “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo invents a new slant to this form of prose and it does so in a way which poignantly relates to the novel’s overall meaning. The stories in this novel revolve around particular groups which are usually composed of a daughter, mother and friend/lover/important familial figure. They focus on twelve central characters in total whose lives ...more
Read By RodKelly
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Voices flooding the page. Called forth from that bottomless wellspring of black womanhood. Where she is green with youth, and serenely and sagaciously aged. Where she is multi-caste: Nigerian and, Trini and, Ethiopian and. Where she is womanloving. Where she is mother and mothered. Where she is elemental. Where she is powerful. Power. Where she is weak with shame and doubt and yet seen in all her profundity, in all her kink and insecurity, her hidden pain and the nightmare of oppression and ...more
Julie Ehlers
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Girl, Woman, Other started off so well for me. I absolutely adored the first triptych of stories, about two queer, creative women of color and the college-age daughter of one of them. I loved the characters and I loved the writing style, and I was excited to keep going. Eventually, though, the sameness of the tone and style began to frustrate me, and the stories began to feel a bit like checking off boxes: Here is the immigrant experience, here is the experience of a devotee of white feminism, ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5, rounded down.

This pushed a lot of negative buttons for me, so I am the first to admit my rating MIGHT be a case of 'It's probably NOT you, it's me'.' First of all, this is really a series of interconnected short stories, rather than a true 'novel', and I always have trouble digesting such. Secondly - the majority of the 12 chapters prior to the final two of summation and 'connect-the-dot-ness' are not even stories... they are character profiles, a compilation of specific 'factoids' that
Barry Pierce
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
In Girl, Woman, Other Bernardine Evaristo creates more memorable characters than some authors could only dream of doing in a whole career.

The novel is set off by Amma who is walking across the brutalist playground that is the Southbank toward the NT where her newest play is just about to open. Over the next couple hundred pages, Evaristo explores the lives of Amma and eleven other people, all black womxn and one trans man, who are either directly or indirectly connected through Amma and her
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The reason being is; how can I as a straight white male write about a book which is about Anglo-African (and in one case Afro-American) women sexism AND gender politics?

I can try though.

Girl, Woman, Other gives the reader 12 stories about 12 different women. At times their lives intersect some chapters, some in a casual way, some go a bit
Ron Charles
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-about-art
Barnardine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other,” available next week in the United States, is a breathtaking symphony of black women’s voices, a clear-eyed survey of contemporary challenges that’s nevertheless wonderfully life-affirming.

Although the novel’s structure sounds daunting, “Girl, Woman, Other” is choreographed with such fluid artistry that it never feels labored. The story begins just hours before the debut of a play at the National Theatre in London, and it ends 450 pages later as the
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Girl, Woman, Other would make a fantastic addition to a Brit Lit survey course which also included Andrea Levy's 2004 novel Small Island and Zadie Smith's White Teeth, while neither of these books is entirely voiced by women, collectively they tell a rich story of Britain learning to deal with its colonial past. Evaristo's novel feels like the natural progression of those books. The 12 voices of Girl, Woman, Other ( not all black and not all female ) cover many circles on the intersectional ...more
Anita Pomerantz
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite author is Elizabeth Strout, and for me, this book approached character development in a very similar fashion to Strout while adding in Toni Morrison-like poetic touches to wonderful effect.

The book is divided into four sections and each section tells the stories of three characters that are somehow interrelated. It's a book that revels in telling the stories of a very diverse group of women (background, upbringing, sexuality, etc.) without taking itself too seriously and without
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Girl, Woman, Other is a joy. It’s a celebration of black women’s voices – old and young, gay and straight and non-binary, embittered and hopeful, rich and poor – without ever becoming pedantic. And this book is something more: it takes the feminine archetypes (lover, maiden, mother, queen-bee, huntress, sage) and turns them on their ear, creating something totally original.

There is Amma, whom the author says is loosely based on herself, a lesbian socialist playwright who is about to stage the
Paul Fulcher
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, booker-2019
although the mother of his only child, writer and director, and dear, dear friend, could have made her name where it mattered a long time ago, if she’d taken his advice and directed a few multi-culti Shakespeares, Greek tragedies and other classics, instead of writing plays about black women which will never have popular appeal, simply because the majority of the majority sees the majority of Les Négresses as separate to themselves, an embodiment of Otherness

Girl, Women, Other, the latest novel
This set of connected stories made my head swim delightfully with so many women’s lives flowing out in parallel and back in time over the generations. Though mostly set in London, I felt that the interweaving of the tales and voices was less a communal biography of place or a community, as in Maupin’s “Tales from the City” or Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio”, than a multifaceted portrait of modern society and its persisting assaults on the “better angels of our nature”. Because the characters are ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-booker, 2019
“Girl, Woman, Other” gives us 12 stories for the price of one. In some ways, the book is a collection of 12 short stories, but the links between the characters are so strong that even though there is no over-arching story being told, it always feels as though you are reading a novel.

The 12 stories are cleverly constructed in four groups of three. For example, the first grouping (Chapter 1), introduces us to Amma, then to Yazz who is Amma’s daughter, and then to Dominique who is Amma’s business
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: man-booker-nod, 2019
life's so much simpler for men, simply because women are so much more complicated than them

Combining poetry and prose, eschewing capitals at the beginnings of sentences and punctuation at their ends, reading mostly like a collection of short stories (featuring twelve protagonists and the countless other characters who flesh out their histories), Bernardine Evaristo has crafted a loose and freefloating form in Girl, Woman, Other that allows her to flit between interior monologues and exterior
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Bernardine Evaristo is a British writer, born in Woolwich, south east London to an English mother and Nigerian father. She has written novels in various mixes of prose and poetry; she has also written poems, radio plays, and theatre plays. 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 ...more
“Courtney added that as she only fancies black men and is likely going to have mixed-race children, her ‘white privilege’ is in any case going to be seriously dented, like at least 50% of it, and it’s incredible in this day and age that she’d never met any black people in the flesh before she came to university from Dartingford which is entirely white except for three Asians” 2 likes
“women who miraculously spend their working day wearing bondage-tight skirts and vertiginous, destabilizing heels which make their feet look bound the erogenous zones of crushed muscles and cramped bones, encased in upmarket strippers’ heels and if she has to cripple herself to signal her education, talent, intellect, skills and leadership potential then so be it” 1 likes
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