May 2020: Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo

The most prominent memory of this meetup was how hot it was that day. It was too hot for me to be inside the house, the afternoon sun streaming into the west-facing windows and cooking my housemates and me. I hung a bed sheet with string from the top window of the first floor and the cherry tree in the garden, and sat outside for the whole meeting. This prompted a few funny looks from passersby as I chatted with people on the other end of the internet about our thoughts on Evaristo’s newest novel.

Evaristo’s ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ was the joint winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019 along with Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’ and it was a hot take in our book club that Evaristo deserved to win it in her own right. Some even said that ‘The Testaments’ was nowhere near good enough to win the prize at all.

“‘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.”

Having read Evaristo’s ‘Mr Loverman’ earlier on in the year, we drew many comparisons between the two works. They are very different in scope and narrative, but we enjoyed them both. I think we all appreciated the representation of queer women and nonbinary people from the newest title.

Evaristo’s website can be found here, along with her backlist.

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