Girl, Woman, Other explores the lives of a group of Black British women. The book traverses themes including gender, feminism, race and class. These intergenerational stories won Bernardine Evaristo the Booker Prize last year. Evaristo was the first Black woman to ever win the prize.
There are twelve main characters and their stories weave in and out. Sometimes they become tangled and it helps to portray how interconnected society is. Amma, a radical theatre-maker, has a play on at the National Theatre. The play, The Last Amazon of Dahomey, brings the characters together.
The novel is about journeys – growing up, learning about your roots and exploring identity.
Carole, who is in her twenties and now a banker, was born in London and grew up in Peckham. Her parents came to the UK from Nigeria. She gets into an elite university but feels out of place. Her mother, Bummi, is proud of her daughter but feels that Carole has rejected her roots to fit in at Oxford. Bummi is also disappointed when she finds out that Carole has a white boyfriend, Freddy.
There’s Dominique, LaTisha, Yazz, Shirley, Hattie, Morgan, Penelope and others. The characters are distinctive and complex with varied stories and perspectives. They come together to create a vibrant novel. Through Evaristo’s vivid settings, you’re offered a window into their lives. Girl, Woman, Other is a real success.