Updated: Jul 7, 2021
I say this often when I come across a five star read, but how the heck did I let this one sit on my shelf unread for so long?! Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo is a brilliant book about intersectional feminism, told through the stories of twelve women residing in Britain. The writing style is unique and each character's story is told almost as a short story, but as the reader progresses through the novel, the ties between each character reveals itself. Evaristo's writing is brilliant, witty, and one of a kind. I have no doubts Girl, Woman, Other will become a modern day classic. *chef's kiss*
A generational novel about the lives of Black British women and the good, bad, and ugly that comes with life and the intersections of feminism and identity. (Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and selected by former President Barack Obama as a must read.)
How do you even begin to dissect a book like this? The structure reminded me of Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, because of the standalone characters that loosely tie to one another forming the overarching narrative. The writing was also unique in the sense that there was barely any punctuation or complete sentences in the entire book. That took some getting used to for me, but once I got the flow of the book, I was hooked. Girl, Woman, Other begins with Amma, a local theatre owner who is fiercely feminist, proudly queer, and creates plays about topics and themes most people are not drawn to, but she does so anyway. Her new play is set to premiere and she is waiting to hear how it is received. From here, each character branches off and intertwines with one another in different ways.
Some characters stories' I found more intriguing than others, such as Dominique and Morgan-I could read entire novels drafted about them, but I grew to appreciate the characters that did not initially stand out to me. The epilogue brings them all full circle after Amma's play has premiered with rave reviews. And the ending....let me just say, the ending is worth it in every sense. I adored it! Not to mention the intersectional feminist theme is so timely and important. Obama was not lying when he said Girl, Woman, Other is a must read. Don't sleep on this one!!
Content warnings: abusive relationships, homophobia, miscarriage, infidelity, racism
"be a person with knowledge not just opinions"
"an intersectional feminist, because it's not just about gender but race, sexuality, class and other intersections which we mostly unthinkingly live anyway"
"gender is one of the biggest lies of our civilization"
"we should celebrate that many more women are reconfiguring feminism and that grassroots activism is spreading like wildfire and millions of women are waking up to the possibility of taking ownership of our world as fully-entitled human beings
how can we argue with that?"
Read if you liked:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (click the title link to read my review)