CANCELED - Bernardine Evaristo discusses 'Girl, Woman, Other' at Langston Hughes
Monday, Mar. 23, 2020, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
CANCELED - Bernardine Evaristo discusses 'Girl, Woman, Other' at Langston Hughes
Wherenon-library location
Non-Library LocationLangston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
AudienceAdults
LanguageEnglish
SummaryJoin us to hear Evaristo discuss her Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other, a kaleidoscopic story celebrating Black British voices.
View in CatalogGirl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
DescriptionThis event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsors the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation, and Seattle City of Literature. Thanks to media sponsor The Seattle Times. The event is presented in partnership with LANGSTON and Elliott Bay Book Company. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.

The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class.

Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:

Anglo-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the celebrated author of eight books and the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize. Her writing is characterized by experimentation, daring, subversion, and challenging the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities, and her books range in genre from poetry to short story to drama to criticism. She lives in London.

PRAISE:

“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”—Booker Prize Judges

Girl, Woman, Other received half a Booker Prize, but it deserves all the glory . . . A breathtaking symphony of black women’s voices, a clear-eyed survey of contemporary challenges that’s nevertheless wonderfully life-affirming . . . Together, all these women present a cross-section of Britain that feels godlike in its scope and insight.”―Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A sprawling book, but too intimate to be considered an epic . . . Each of these characters―and indeed the doting spouses, or abusive girlfriends, or foul-mouthed school chums, or lecherous preachers, or the rest of the human parade―feels specific, and vibrant, and not quite complete, insofar as the best fictional characters remain as elusive and surprising as real people are. This is a feat; the whole book is . . . Evaristo is a gifted portraitist, and you marvel at both the people she conjures and the unexpected way she reveals them to you . . . Yes, prizes are silly. But sometimes they’re deserved.”―Rumaan Alam, New Republic

“[Evaristo] is a master at parsing out individual voices while also collaging them into a beautiful chorus, exploring the ways identities and people’s lives intersect.”―Katie Yee, Literary Hub

“There is an astonishing uniqueness to Bernardine Evaristo’s writing, but especially showcased in Girl, Woman, Other. How she can speak through twelve different people and give them each such distinct and vibrant voices is astonishing. I loved it. So much.”―Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie

“For a fresh and inspiring take on writing about the African diaspora, there’s nothing like a new book by Bernardine Evaristo. Somehow she does it every time!”―Margaret Busby, editor of Daughters of Africa
AccommodationsWe can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations.
NotesLibrary events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.
PodcastThis event will be recorded for podcast.
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Contact Phone206-386-4636
Contact Info*Central Library
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