GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER

GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER: a ‘fusion fiction’ novel.
Hamish Hamilton/ Penguin UK (May 2019) &  Black Cat/ Grove Atlantic USA (Nov. 2019)
Winner of the Booker Prize 2019
A Sunday Times Bestseller
BOOK OF THE YEAR selections
New Yorker 10 Best Books 2019; Washington Post 10 Best Books 2019;  Financial Times Top 10 Fiction Books
2019; Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Books 2019; Daily Telegraph 50 Best Books 2019 & Critics’ Pick; TIME magazine 100 Must-Read Books 2019; Elle 13 Best Feminist Books; Oprah Mag Best LGBT Books; Red magazine 10 Best Books; Vogue; Times Literary Supplement; Guardian; New Statesman; Evening Standard; Kirkus Reviews; The Irish News; Amazon Editors’ Pick; Apple Books

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Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives of twelve very different people in Britain, predominantly female and black. Aged 19 to 93, they span a variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, sexualities, classes and occupations as they tell the stories of themselves, their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

The Booker Judges Comments
‘A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood. This is an impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves. With a dazzling rhythm, Evaristo takes us on a journey of intergenerational stories, moving through different spaces and heritages: African, Caribbean, European. Her 12 main characters manifest the highs and lows of our social life. They are artists, bankers, teachers, cleaners, housewives, and are at various stages of womanhood, from adolescence to old age. Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humour. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum. The language wraps the reader by force, with the quality of oral traditions and poetry. This is a novel that deserves to be read aloud and to be performed and celebrated in all kinds of media.’

‘Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other…is a breathtaking symphony of black women’s voices, a clear-eyed survey of contemporary challenges that’s nevertheless wonderfully life-affirming… Together, all these women present a cross-section of Britain that feels godlike in its scope and insight…just as crucial to this novel’s triumph is Evaristo’s proprietary style, a long-breath, free-verse structure that sends her phrases cascading down the page. She’s formulated a literary mode somewhere between prose and poetry that enhances the rhythms of speech and narrative. It’s that rare experimental technique that sounds like a sophisticated affectation but in her hands feels instantly accommodating, entirely natural. It’s just the style needed to carry along all these women’s stories and then bring them to a perfectly calibrated moment of harmony — a grace note that rings out after the orchestral grandness of Girl, Woman, Other draws to a perfect close.’
The Washington Post

‘It’s a triumphantly wide-ranging novel, told in a hybrid of prose and poetry…It’s also, to my mind, the strongest contender on the (Booker) shortlist. A big, bold, sexy book that cracks open a world that needs to be known…Evaristo’s job is to observe, broaden our minds and to be funny – often very funny indeed…’
Sunday Times

‘My money (though) is on Evaristo. Her book was the last of the shortlist I read, but it not only exceeded my expectations, it felt like a novel that did what all great novels do, dropping the reader into richly imagined lives, recognising that in the intimate presentation of the particular lies the universal, and making a convincing case that the best novels push the genre in exciting new directions.’
Observer Booker roundup

‘This is the pick of the Booker shortlist for me. It’s the only novel that had me enthralled and engaged throughout.
Irish Times Booker roundup

‘Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo isn’t just my book of the year, it’s one of the most insightful and life-affirming books I’ve read in many a year. It comprises twelve beautifully interwoven stories of identity, race, womanhood, gender and sexuality, all rooted in the realities and complexities of modern Britain. The characters are vivid and authentic, the writing exquisite and it brims with humanity.’
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland New Statesman Book of the Year

‘This wonderful novel is both a critique of the deadening limitations of language when deployed as a crude political instrument, and a celebration of its limitless possibilities. Rather like John Coltrane’s riff on My Favourite Things, Girl, Woman, Other soars away on multiple emotional trajectories before, in the final chapter, set during the after-party of Amma’s triumphant first night, coming back to land, with the characters finally all in the same room. Yet it remains tantalisingly open-ended, with the not-entirely resolved exchange between Amma and her old friend Dominique. You suspect Evaristo is wise enough to know that, after the celebration, amid all the joyous feelings of sisterly togetherness, the conversation must still go on.’
Telegraph

‘The intermingling stories of generations of black British women told in a gloriously rich and readable free verse, will surely be seen as a landmark in British fiction.’
Guardian

‘David Olusoga observes in his book Black and British, in much of history “black figures are mute”, particularly the voices of women, “silenced by a lack of written sources”. The wide-ranging fictional works of Bernardine Evaristo, however, have helped to fill this void. The Emperor’s Babe followed a Nubian teenage bride in AD 211; Blonde Roots inverted the transatlantic slave trade – now in Girl, Woman, Other, Evaristo adopts an even bigger canvas, with a sparkling new novel of interconnected stories….In Evaristo’s eighth book she continues to expand and enhance our literary canon. If you want to understand modern day Britain, this is the writer to read.’
New Statesman

‘Bernardine Evaristo’s eighth work of fiction, which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, is one of those books that makes the reader ask “Where have you been all my life?” and rush out for the author’s backlist. Perhaps coming to a writer afresh when their talent is fully formed makes the effect all the more dramatic – if so, then the new readership Evaristo will justifiably gain from her shortlisting will be thrilled.’
Irish Times

‘The lives of 12 very different, loosely connected black women are depicted in this marvellous novel that deliberately sets out to resist the notion that any one of their stories should be seen as representative of anything other than itself. Carole is a banker, Amma is gay and a playwright, LaTisha has two kids by the age of 19, but they and everyone else we meet sing off the page as they negotiate their own way of being through the prisms of race and gender. In prose that defies many of the rules of punctuation, and feels all the more immediate for it, Evaristo — who was born in Eltham to a white English mother and Nigerian father, and has now written eight books on the African diaspora — summons up a limitless canvas of black female experience that’s by turns funny, acutely observed and heart-snagging. Terrific. ‘
Metro

‘This fast-paced, rhythmically composed, heart-rending Booker Prize winner centralizes and gives voice to 12 unforgettable black British women characters who are often marginalized and silenced in Britain due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, and class.’
The Atlantic

‘In this snapshot of Britain from 1905 to the present day that unites Newcastle with Cornwall, Evaristo tells the tales of 12 interconnected characters who are mostly women and mostly black. Ambitious, flowing and all-encompassing, she jumps from life to life weaving together personal tales and voices in an offbeat narrative that’ll leave your mind in an invigorated whirl. This is an exceptional book that unites poetry, social history, women’s voices and beyond. You have to order it right now in fact.’
Stylist
magazine

‘Spanning a century and following the intertwined lives of 12 people, this is a paean to what it means to be black, British and female. 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 magazine

‘The lives of 12 very different, loosely connected black women are depicted in this marvellous novel that deliberately sets out to resist the notion that any one of their stories should be seen as representative of anything other than itself. Carole is a banker, Amma is gay and a playwright, LaTisha has two kids by the age of 19, but they and everyone else we meet sing off the page as they negotiate their own way of being through the prisms of race and gender. In prose that defies many of the rules of punctuation, and feels all the more immediate for it, Evaristo — who was born in Eltham to a white English mother and Nigerian father, and has now written eight books on the African diaspora — summons up a limitless canvas of black female experience that’s by turns funny, acutely observed and heart-snagging. Terrific. ‘
Metro

‘The voices of black women come to the fore in a swirl of interrelated stories that cover the past century of British life. Wide-ranging, witty and wise, it’s a book that does new things with the novel form.’
Sunday Times
Best Books for Summer 2019

‘Three books recently published by great female writers should be on everyone’s holiday list. In Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo weaves together the stories of a range of women across continents. It’s a magnificent read from a writer with a gift for humanity.’
Observer – Summer Reads

‘This masterful novel is a choral love song to black womanhood.’
Elle magazine

Beautiful, hilarious and moving homage to what it means to be black and British. Girl, Woman, Other celebrates the rich variety of black women across generations.’
Refinery 29

‘A magnificent chorus of black British voices..As she creates a space for immigrants and the children of immigrants to tell their stories, Evaristo explores a range of topics both contemporary and timeless. There is room for everyone to find a home in this extraordinary novel. Beautiful and necessary.’
Kirkus Reviews –
Book of the Year.

‘..the women, with all their flaws, mistakes and desires on show, bite back, with wit, force, fierceness and wisdom.’
The Times

‘Evaristo is known for narratives that weave through time and place with crackling originality. Girl, Woman, Other is no exception.’
Vogue

‘Evaristo’s eighth novel brims with vitality…Evaristo writes sensitively about how we raise children, how we pursue careers, how we grieve, how we love…The form she chooses here is breezily dismissive of convention. The flow of this prose-poetry hybrid feels absolutely right, with the pace and layout of words matched to the lilt and intonation of the characters’ voices…She captures the shared experience that make us, as she puts it in her dedication, “members of the human family.”‘
Financial Times

‘This novel is a sure-footed triumph.’
India Times

‘In its disregard for conventional arrangements of paragraphs and cut-and-dried syntax, the novel offers an irresistible invitation to dive right in: to be with its people, to question your own choices, motivations and assumptions, to recognise the role you play in shaping the lives of others and of our body politic. The use of different Englishes and registers of English forms an inalienable part of the work”s innate musicality.’
The Spider’s House

QUOTES

‘There is an astonishing uniqueness to Bernardine Evaristo’s writing, but especially showcased in Girl, Woman, Other. How she can speak through twelve different people and give them each such distinct and vibrant voices is astonishing. I loved it. So much.’
Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie

‘Hilarious, heart-breaking & honest. Generations of women and the people they have loved and unloved – the complexities of race, sex, gender, politics, friendship, love, fear and regret. The complications of success, the difficulties of intimacy. I truly haven’t enjoyed reading a book in so long.’
Warsan Shire, author of Teaching My Grandmother How to Give Birth & poet-collaborator with Beyonce on Lemonade.

Bernardine Evaristo’s books are always exciting, always subversive, a reminder of the boundless possibilities of literature and the great worth in reaching for them. Her body of work is incredible. 
Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People

Once again, Bernardine Evaristo reminds us she is one of Britain’s best writers, an iconic and unique voice, filled with warmth, subtly and humanity. Girl, Woman, Other is an exceptional work, presenting an alternative history of Britain and a dissection of modern Britain that is witty, exhilarating and wise. 
Nikesh Shukla, author and editor of The Good Immigrant

Bernardine Evaristo is without doubt one of the most important voices in contemporary British literature. Her phenomenal writing gets at the heart of what affects and concerns us most in these times. 
Jacob Ross, author of The Bone Readers

Girl Woman Other is brilliant. I feel like a ghost walking in and out and in again on different people’s lives, different others. Some I feel close to, some I feel I must have met and some are so ‘other’ that I have to stretch myself to see them. Mind expanding.
Philippa Perry, author of How to be a Parent

Bernardine Evaristo is one of those writers who should be read by everyone, everywhere. Her tales marry down-to-earth characters with engrossing storylines about the UK today.
Elif Shafak, author of Three Daughters of Eve

Bernardine Evaristo is the most daring, ambitious, imaginative and innovative of writers, and Girl, Woman, Other is a fantastic novel that takes fiction and black women’s stories into new directions. 
Inua Ellams, author of The Half God of Rainfall

For a fresh and inspiring take on writing about the African diaspora, there’s nothing like a new book by Bernardine Evaristo. Somehow she does it every time!
Margaret Busby, editor of Daughters of Africa

Guardian: Best of Summer Books.  June 2019
Sunday Times: Ultimate Summer Books. June 2019
Observer: Bookseller’s Choice. July 2019