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Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo  

Evaristo's courageous and intersectional novel explores Black British identity and unfolds in a single night, or over the course of 100 years, depending on how readers look at it.

The store opens with Amma, a formerly fringe, lesbian playwright whose newest work, The Last Amazon of Dahomey opens tonight at London's National Theatre. Her daughter, Yazz, uber-confident thanks to Amma's emotionally affirming parenting, goes next, followed by Dominique, Amma's longtime friend and one-time partner in artistic consciousness and hell-raising.

The following chapters expand the novel's three characters one at a time (a table of contents lists their names, but it's exciting to be surprised by the revelation of who will take center stage) until there are 12: 11 women and 1 nonbinary person. Evaristo uses minimal punctuation and fluid paragraphs for a high-velocity style of exposition. And, oh, what is exposed. Hearing from mothers and their children, teachers and their students across generations, readers might expect that they'll get to see just what these characters can't know about one another, but they won't imagine the dazzling specificities nor the unspooling dramas; they will be entertained, educated and riveted.

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