About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Book Reviews

Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other is an essential novel of race and gender: Review

Hamish Hamilton

Posted on

Girl, Woman, Other

A-
Book Details
type
Book
Genre
Fiction

A surprise co-winner of this year’s Booker Prize (she shares it with Margaret Atwood, only the third time that’s happened in the award’s 50-year-history), Bernardine Evaristo may not be a household name, but Girl deserves every accolade, and more: Her sixth novel is a creative and technical marvel — a sprawling account of 12 interconnected females (some young, some old, one non-binary; hence the title) in modern-day Britain.

Radical lesbian playwrights and fierce nonagenarian homesteaders; glossy-haired bankers and ground-down cleaning ladies; rebellious teenagers and retired housewives: They all come together in a book so bursting with wit, empathy, and insight, it can rarely pause to take a breath, let alone break a paragraph (or at least put a full stop at the end of one).

Nearly all of the protagonists in its wildly kaleidoscopic survey of nearly a century of womanhood are black or brown, living out their lives on the less-visible fringes of England’s technically invisible but still intransigent caste system.

But their paths ahead are hardly circumscribed by race or class or color: Amma is the playwright, long proudly anti-establishment, who gets the opportunity to put on a piece at the very center of bourgeois London theater; Yazz is her teenage daughter by donor sperm, an extravagantly self-aware millennial with a multi-cult squad she calls the Unf*ckwithables; financial officer Carole’s sleek figure and streamlined apartment defy her origins in public housing, her Nigerian mother — and most importantly, the brutal sexual assault that defined her adolescence.

Other indelible characters, all plugged into Evaristo’s ever-expanding web, come and go within Girl‘s pages, each one immediately, recognizably human but still somehow far from archetype. Maybe the book’s most ingenious trick, though, is that its reflections on race and feminism hardly ever feel like polemics; there’s just too much pure vivid life on every page. A–

Related content: 

Girl, Woman, Other

type
Book
Genre
author
Bernardine Evaristo
Complete Coverage
Girl, Woman, Other
Outbrain

Tags