Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner)

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In her recent Booker Prize-winning novel, Bernardine Evaristo explores the lives, loves, and losses of a panoply of women of color. Those to the manor born, the English upper crust, strivers and strugglers, artists and academics populate this beautiful and intricate book which seems to define women’s experience as perfectly undefinable. The novel affirms that there is no one way to be a girl, to be a woman, to be other, but all types of women are infinitely powerful, beautiful, and necessary.

Told in five sections comprised of three chapters each, the book focuses on women whose lives intersect in numerous and often surprising ways. An early character proves to be a lover of a latter one, the matriarch in one chapter is revealed to be the petulant daughter in another—the tapestry is woven artfully and, for attentive readers, richly rewarding. While the book is unconventionally written—the narratives are not traditionally linear; paragraphs lack structure and sentences often lack punctuation—it is remarkably easy to read. There is a natural, almost spoken rhythm to the lines, as if Evaristo has invited you to sit beside her as she tells you these myriad and wildly interesting stories.

Amma, a playwright and director, begins the book, and it is the opening night of her most recent production that locates these women and their lives, but the book is as much the simple act of living as it is about art and expression. It could be argued that Girl, Woman, Other is fundamentally a novel about life as art, and that is what makes it so important and meaningful.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Grove Press, Black Cat
Publish Date 2019-11-05
ISBN 9780802156983 Buy this Book
Issue March 2020
Category Popular Fiction


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