Girl, Woman, Other
by Bernardine Evaristo
This novel is funny, smart and encompasses so much through the specifics of its 12 narrators.
It starts and ends with Amma, a playwright who, after years of struggling to make ends meet while making gay, feminist art, is finally on the brink of success. Subsequent narrators include her daughter, mother and closest friends, as well as people who seem to be unconnected at first. We’re given a potted history of each person along with some degree of meeting them “now”, learning how they are connected to Amma and her premiere.
Evaristo’s style is engaging; sometimes funny and sometimes serious; issues-driven without sacrificing storytelling. What is most immediately noticeable is that it is written in fragments not sentences, which seemed like it might be challenging, but I loved it. It gives the novel a quality similar to natural conversation but more elegant.