Sam Radford

March 15, 2021

Book Notes: “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo

I picked up a copy of Girl, Woman, Other last summer. It’s sat on my reading pile ever since though. Almost every week I’ve been looking at it, remembering I want to read it, but finding something else grabbing my attention more.

But, last weekend, looking for some fiction to read, I realised I only had one novel left on my unread pile. No prizes for guessing what.

So I’ve been reading it this last week. And now I’m wondering what on earth took me so long to pick it up. It’s fabulous!

When I shared online I was reading it, it was fascinating to see people’s responses. Pretty much everyone who chimed in said something like:

‘Brilliant book!’

Or:

‘Loved that book!’

And I couldn’t agree more.

The book is an interconnected collection of short stories, most focussed on a different black British women. It explores questions about feminism and race provocatively and brilliantly.

Each character has their own chapter, but their stories overlap throughout. Their experiences, backgrounds and choices are unique and varied. The characters burst with depth and intrigue, each distinctive, sharing only the common traits of being imperfect and complex. As you reach the end of each chapter you can’t help but come away with a fresh perspective.

Brought together, despite not having an overarching narrative, the novel is spellbinding and eye-opening. I highly recommend it.

Is this a book you have read? I’d love to know what you thought about it.

–Sam