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Girl, Woman, Other: WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019 Paperback – 3 March 2020
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If you haven't discovered [Evaristo] yet, I urge you to read all and any of her books. Devoured one a day already and ordered more. Hilarious, compassionate, moving and brutally honest. -- Richard E Grant via Twitter
Beautifully interwoven stories of identity, race, womanhood, and the realities of modern Britain. The characters are so vivid, the writing is beautiful and it brims with humanity. -- Nicola Sturgeon via Twitter
Weaves through time and space with crackling originality ― Vogue
Exuberant, bursting at the seams in delightful ways... Evaristo continues to expand and enhance our literary canon. If you want to understand modern day Britain, this is the writer to read ― New Statesman
An exceptional book that unites poetry, social history, women's voices and beyond. Order it right now ― Stylist
Evaristo's prose hums with life as characters seem to step off the page fully formed. At turns funny and sad, tender and true, this book deserves to win awards ― Red
Brims with vitality ― FT
With this rich composition, Evaristo deserves a toast ― Literary Review
Masterful... A choral love song to black womanhood in modern Great Britain ― Elle
'Girl, Woman, Other is about struggle, but it is also about love, joy and imagination. ― Guardian
Threads together the diverse life stories of 12 black British women in ways that deliberately resist categorisation ― Metro
Such a satisfying read, funny and true, the characters are so real you feel you know them already -- Miranda Sawyer via Twitter
A warm, humorous and ambitious novel, and one that is enjoyably playful in style. It is both a product of its time and unlike any book ever written about Britain ― Economist
My favorite book of 2019 . . . the most absorbing book I read all year. This novel is a master class in storytelling. It is absolutely unforgettable. When I turned the final page, I felt the ache of having to leave the world Evaristo created but I also felt the excitement of getting to read the book all over again. It should have won the Booker alone. It deserves all the awards and then some. -- Roxanne Gay
- Publisher : Penguin (General UK); 1st edition (3 March 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0241984998
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241984994
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Girl, Woman, Other is filled with slang, non-mainstream words, awkward spelling and grammatical mistakes (maybe done purposely. For example, page 257 - "...she taught Shirley who in turn taught Rachel to ensure they was (sic) all clean and well-dressed when they got on a plane..." ). The punctuation and the arrangement of paragraphs in the book are deplorable. Nevertheless, Girl, Woman, Other must be credited with having one of the longest words in the English language, which is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Sorry to say but I can't recommend this book to anyone. If there were an option to give a negative rating, I would have gladly chosen it.
Got lost a few times on connections, but never bored.
First third of the book I was ‘off’ lesbian politics, but this was necessary - part of my education.
What a huge exploration of women’s politics and sexuality and relationships and modern day Britain race relations.
Kids, you love ‘em, they give you the ‘irrits’ - blokes, the same!
My only suggestion to other readers is you may like to note down who people are as they are introduced! Towards the end of the book I wished I had done this but then got to the end without missing anything and loving this whole exploration of two worlds I have not experienced myself.
Top reviews from other countries
The twelve narratives are grouped into four sets of three, each set has relatively tight connections with the others in that set, but the four sets are connected sometimes in tangential ways. Each narrative is fully and beautifully told, centring on a black woman but with a lively and diverse cast of supporting characters - sometimes generations of that character’s family, sometimes friends, sometimes employers or offspring.
Each of the twelve characters is sufficiently different to maintain interest and avoid any blurring between them. They range, for example, from a lesbian theatre dramatist, to a city banker, to a Northumbrian farmer, to a narcissistic schoolteacher. Some of the characters are more likeable than others, some of them are happier than others. Taken together, though, they challenge a number of pre-conceptions: e.g. that black skin was not seen in Britain before the Windrush; that the black community is somehow homogenous; that black kids have lower expectations than their white counterparts. We see in great detail the complexity of the backgrounds of many Black Britons; the systematic stifling of ambition and opportunity that Black kids experience; and the power of familial expectations and the perils of wanting something different from life.
Girl, Woman, Other does have a couple of codas. The first is an after party following the opening of a play by Amma, the star of the first narrative. This brings together some of the characters and offers an opportunity for some set-piece politicking. If the novel has a weak spot, this is it. The second coda is much more powerful, as one of the characters discovers her true heritage. The reader will already have worked this out, but the salient feature is more the character’s reaction than the actual fact of it.
This remarkable collection of narratives is dauntingly long to start with, but after the first two or three stories it is very hard to put down. It is written in a compelling, immediate style (almost verse like with line spacing and lack of capital letters), and gives a very convincing insight into lives that the reader might never have previously noticed. This is an important work that gives a better understanding of our country, and an appreciation that the story is still being written.
writing akin to a four year old. So cross that I had to buy this – my book club chose it as our book of the month. Everyone hates it. Emperor’s new clothes, avoid at all costs!