Review: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

RATING: 10/10

SYNOPSIS

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.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

REVIEW

“privilege is about context and circumstance”

Hands down, a solid 10/10 star rating from me!

Girl, Woman, Other was a joint winner (with Margaret Atwood’s The Testament) of the Booker Prize 2019. It was shortlisted for the 2020 Fiction Book of the Year in the British Book Awards, the 2019 Gordon Burn Prize, longlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2020 Orwell Prize Winners. I am so curious why this book was shortlisted/longlisted for so many literary awards and I have to pick this up to find out why. And yes, it was truly well deserved (and i think it might be slightly better than The Testament).

Girl, Woman, Other is by far, the best book that I have read thus far in 2020. We follow the lives and struggles of 12 women and black characters. With the stories of these 12 characters, the author easily explored the history, current issues as well as concepts such as feminism, racism, patriarchism, LGBTQ, egalitarianism, domestic violence, social stigmas and etc. The concepts and issues are huge and broad issues but they revolved around the lives of simple person such as you and me. The character arcs of these 12 characters are so engaging, relatable and they came alive with Evaristo’s writing style. While certain parts are very emotional, I can feel that Evaristo is relaying a sense of empowerment to the vulnerable groups.

“people have to share everything they do these days, from meals, to night outs, to selfies of themselves half naked in a mirror
the borders between public and private are dissolving”

Speaking of Evaristo’s writing style, it is very unique and it doesn’t follow the traditional rules of writing. There’s no fullstops. The sentences are very long. Evaristo explored the past and present incidents of the characters as freely as she wants to. This is what she termed as a “fusion fiction”. A new type of fiction which opposes the conventional writing style, which in some way suits the whole idea of this novel. It is creative and it really is an eye opening reading experience for me.

“be a person with knowledge not just opinions”

For all victims of racism, prejudice and any form of violence, Bernardine Evaristo is here for you and Girl, Woman, Other, is THE book for you

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