Girl, Woman, Other

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Girl, Woman, Other
Girl, Woman, Other (Evaristo novel).png
First edition cover
AuthorBernardine Evaristo
Audio read byAnna-Maria Nabirye[1]
Cover artistNeil Kenlock (photos)[2]
Ali Campbell (design)[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreLGBT fiction
Set inUnited Kingdom
PublisherHamish Hamilton
Publication date
2 May 2019
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback) and e-book
Awards2019 Booker Prize
LC ClassPR6055.V25 G57 2019

Girl, Woman, Other is the eighth novel written by Bernardine Evaristo, published in 2019 by Hamish Hamilton. It follows the lives of 12 characters in the United Kingdom over the course of several decades. The book was awarded the 2019 Booker Prize.


The book has no overarching story. Instead, each chapter of the book follows the life of one of the 12 characters (mostly black women) as they negotiate the world. Although each character has their own chapter set across a particular time, their lives intertwine in numerous ways – from friends and relatives to chance acquaintances.

Some of the themes explored in the characters lives are feminism, politics, patriarchy, success, relationships and sexuality. [3] Asked about her motivations in writing the work, Evaristo said:

I wanted to put presence into absence. I was very frustrated that black British women weren’t visible in literature. I whittled it down to 12 characters – I wanted them to span from a teenager to someone in their 90s, and see their trajectory from birth, though not linear. There are many ways in which otherness can be interpreted in the novel – the women are othered in so many ways and sometimes by each other. I wanted it to be identified as a novel about women as well.[4]


Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 57% of critics gave the book a "rave" review, while the remaining 43% expressed "positive" impressions.[5]

Emily Rhodes of the Financial Times said that "Evaristo writes sensitively about how we raise children, how we pursue careers, how we grieve and how we love", while Johanna Thomas-Corr of the Sunday Times describes Girl, Woman, Other as "...a triumphantly wide-ranging novel, told in a hybrid of prose and poetry, about the struggles, longings, conflicts and betrayals of 12 (mostly) black women and non-binary character." According to Sarah Ladipo Manyika, writing for the New Statesman, Evaristo "continues to expand and enhance our literary canon. If you want to understand modern day Britain, this is the writer to read."[5]


Girl, Woman, Other was joint winner (with Margaret Atwood's The Testaments) of the 2019 Booker Prize,[6] and was shortlisted for the 2019 Gordon Burn Prize.[7] The Booker Judges described the work as "a must-read about modern Britain and womanhood".[8]

The book was named one of the top ten books of 2019 by the Washington Post.[9]


  1. ^ "Girl, Woman, Other". Penguin Books UK. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ Frazer-Carroll, Micha (8 May 2019). "Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo review – joy as well as struggle". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Sethi, Anita (28 April 2019). "Interview: Bernardine Evaristo: 'I want to put presence into absence'". The Guardian - books. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Girl Woman Other". Book Marks. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  5. ^ Flood, Alison (14 October 2019), "Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share Booker prize 2019", The Guardian.
  6. ^ Fraine, Laura (17 July 2019), "Shortlist announced for Gordon Burn Prize 2019", NewWritingNorth. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  7. ^ ABC / Reuters (15 October 2019). "Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo win the 2019 Booker Prize". ABC News online.
  8. ^ "Best Books of 2019". The Washington Post. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.