Behind The Cover Club presents: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Book Cover Girl, woman, other

You may be heard of Bernardine Evaristo’s brilliant book Girl, Woman, Other when she won the Booker Prize in 2019 alongside Margaret Atwood, making her the first black woman to win the important award.

The story follows the lives of 12 very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell their stories of their families, friends and lovers across the country and through the years.

Girl, Woman, Other is a new kind of history. It’s a truly breath-taking portrait of the UK today.

This book deals with themes including: love, sex, generational divides and queer identity. Appropriate for 16+ readers.

You can listen to Bernardine introduce the book below.


Reviews

“Masterful… A choral love song to black womanhood in modern Great Britain.” Elle

“Exceptional. Ambitious, flowing and all encompassing, an offbeat narrative that’ll leave your mind in an invigorated whirl... [It] unites poetry, social history, women`s voices and beyond. You have to read it now.” Stylist

“This is a story for our times. If you want to understand modern Britain, this is the writer to read.” New Statesman


Get to know Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine is the celebrated author of eight books and numerous other published and produced works that span the genres of novels, poetry, verse fiction, short fiction, essay, literacy criticism, radio and theatre drama. Her writing is characterised by experimentation, daring and for challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities. She states that her work was birthed from her frustration at black women’s “absence from literature”; she wanted to write a piece that included “the stories of as many black British women as possible.”


More books like this one

Loved Girl, Woman, Other? Here are some similar titles:

  1. Small Island, Andrea Levy (Tinder Press)
  2. The Man Who Saw Everything, Deborah Levy (Penguin)
  3. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Elif Shafak (Viking)
  4. White Teeth, Zadie Smith (Penguin)
  5. Weather, Jenny Offill (Granta) [Not yet available in paperback]
  6. My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)
  7. Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid (Bloomsbury Circus)
  8. Adults, Emma Jane Unsworth (The Borough Press)

Behind The Cover Book Club - National Literacy Trust Lancome 2.jpg


Book Club questions

These questions will get you thinking about the book:

  1. How does the author create unique voices for each character?
  2. What effect does the poetic language have on how you heard the novel?
  3. What comments does the book provide on racism and sexism in Britain today?
  4. Which character in the book has the greatest sense of entitlement? Why do you think this is?
  5. Which social or political issues do you feel you are now more knowledgeable about after listening to the book?
  6. How sympathetically do you think men are portrayed in the novel? Do you think they are under-represented?
  7. There are many betrayals in the book. What do you think is the greatest betrayal and why?
  8. If you could be friends with any character in the book, who would you choose and why?
  9. Carole failed to thank her teacher for helping her get ahead in life. Is there someone in your life who you think you should have thanked and didn’t? What did they do to help you?

Is there one character that you loved or hated? Why?


How to write a book review

Writing a book review is a great way to express your thoughts, feelings and impressions about something you’ve read. It can also open up discussions on key themes and spark new ideas.

Other readers will always be interested in your opinions about the book you have read – whether you loved it or not!

Here are five steps to get you started:

  1. Begin with a brief summary of the book. Try to avoid giving away any major spoilers.
  2. Write about what you liked about the book. This is where you think about how the book made you feel.
  3. What was good about the audiobook format?
  4. Did you dislike anything about the book and why?
  5. Include quotes. It gives your reader a brief taste of what to expect from the book.
  6. Round up your review. Sum up your thoughts about the book. Then suggest who you would recommend the book to and why.