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Insightful,
Confusing,
Beautiful

1 review

Girl, Woman, Other
by Bernardine Evaristo

Published: 2019-05-02
Hardcover : 336 pages
10 members reading this now
55 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members

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 ...

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Introduction

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.

'A daring evocation of black British history... Sexy, punchy [and] fresh' Independent on Sunday on The Emperor's Babe

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1) Evaristo says that she has no problem acknowledging herself as a Black British woman and writing from this perspective. Which fictional character in the book do you think has the most or least awareness of their own personal identity?
2) Which character in the text has the greatest sense of ‘entitlement’? Why do you think this?
3) Which relationship in the book do you find most credible and why? Which relationship do you find least credible and why?
4) What ‘social’ or ‘political’ issue did you feel you became more knowledgeable about after reading the book?
5) The stories of the women in the book frequently overlap, yet it is possible to read the different sections as mini-books in their own right. To what extent do you think the whole text needs to be read to truly understand the issues explored in it.
6) How sympathetically do you think men are portrayed in the novel? Do you have any comment about whether they are under represented in the text, which is a criticism that could be made about the book.
7) Shirley’s mother sleeps with her husband and is never found out? How did you respond to this betrayal?
8) There are many betrayals in the book. What, in your opinion do you think is the greatest betrayal and why?
9) If you could be friends with any character in the book who would you choose and why?
10) Would this book have won the Booker ten years ago? Why or why not?

Book Club Questions for the attendee who didn’t read the book!

1) The ‘older generation’ are often excused for not understanding transgender issues and labels such as ‘binary’. Is this an acceptable position to hold?
2) Carole failed to thank her teacher for helping her ‘get ahead’ in life. Is there a teacher who you should have thanked and didn’t in your life? What did they do to help you?
3) Dominique spends many years berating herself for ‘staying in an abusive relationship’ with another woman. Why do women, (if they do, and if you don’t think they do let’s explore this) still blame themselves for the abuse imposed on them.
4) Evaristo talks about her writing style as a fusion of prose and poetry. She is free and easy in her use of capitalisation and punctuation. To what extent are you a traditionalist regarding spelling, grammar and punctuation?
5) Can the claim that a text is a book for a female audience or a book for a black female audience ever be a legitimate one?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "I gave the book five stars, although I did not like the book, because I thought the message was brilliant."by thewanderingjew (see profile) 10/16/20

Girl, Woman, Other-Bernadine Evaristo, author; Anna-Maria Nabirye narrator
I gave the book five stars because it is written brilliantly, but I did not enjoy the book. The subject matter, la
... (read more)

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 07/02/20

Best discussion we’ve had about a book so far. I think it made us all a little uncomfortable and that’s why we didn’t rate it high.

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 07/01/20

Difficult to read. Couldn’t see the point.

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