Released on the 2nd of May by Penguin Random House imprint Hamish Hamilton was, Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s eighth book. The Nigerian-British Brunel University creative writing professor, who is a prolific fiction writer is known in the African literary scene as the founder of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. (The African Poetry Prize is Africa’s most influential poetry institution.
She is also the author of the novels The Emperor’s Babe (2001), Soul Tourists (2005), and Lara (2009), of the novella Hello Mum(2010), of the formal novels Blonde Roots (2008) and Mr Loverman (2013), and of the poetry collection Island of Abraham (1994).
Bernardine Evaristo is also the founder of The Complete Works, a poetry mentorship programme whose attendees have gone on to win top poetry prizes in the UK, and co-founder of Theatre of Black Women and of the writer development agency Spread the Word.
Evaristo has also received an MBE, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, EMMA Best Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction.
This year, she was named the inaugural Woolwich Laureate by the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival.
Girl, Woman, Other has been hailed by Elle as “a choral love song to black womanhood in modern Great Britain.” Here is a description by its publishers:
Teeming with life and crackling with energy – a love song to modern Britain, to black womanhood, to the ever-changing heart of London.
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.
Girl, Woman, Other has also received commendations from Warsan Shire, Elif Shafak, and Diana Evans.
Ali Smith –
“Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life,”
Diana Evans –
“Didn’t think I could love a Bernardine Evaristo novel more than The Emperor’s Babe,”
Elif Shafak –
“Bernardine Evaristo is one of those writers who should be read by everyone, everywhere. Her tales marry down-to-earth characters with engrossing story lines about identity, and the UK of today.”
Warsan Shire –
“Hilarious, heartbreaking & 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.”
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Article adapted from Brittle Paper