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Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. As a literary activist for inclusion, Bernardine Evaristo has founded several successful initiatives including Theatre of Black Women (1982-86), Spread the Word writer development agency (1995-present); The Complete Works mentoring scheme for poets of colour (2007-17) and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012 - ongoing). www.bevaristo.com
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.
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019 Teeming with life and crackling with energy, told through many distinctive voices, this novel follows the lives 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 sparklingly contemporary, Girl, Woman, Other is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.
***WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019*** SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER This is Britain as you've never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told. From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . . '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 order it right now' Stylist 'Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life' Ali Smith, author of How to be both 'Sparkling, inventive' Sunday Times 'Funny, sad, tender and true, deserves to win awards' Red 'Brims with vitality' Financial Times SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2019
Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant character with a fondness for William Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather-and also secretly gay.His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away?With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.
This groundbreaking anthology of ten new poets truly reflects the multicultural make-up of contemporary Britain. At a time when less than 1% of all poetry books published in the UK are by black or Asian poets, the work of these writers testifies to the quality and versatility of vital writing that should not be overlooked. These new voices draw on cultural influences and multiple heritages that can only enrich and broaden the scope of contemporary British poetry. This anthology is the culmination of a much needed initiative by literature development agency Spread the Word to support talented new Black and Asian poets. The poets' histories are to be found in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ireland and England. Their eclectic, wide-ranging poems will take you on a journey into war and exile, myth and magic, homeland and memory, fantasy, family and love. Whether travelling through the streets of London, the killing fields of Bangladesh, the cane fields of the Caribbean, or back in time to the life of a courtesan in 3rd century BC India, these poems will open up new landscapes for the reader. Ten's new poets are: Mir Mahfuz Ali, Rowyda Amin, Malika Booker, Roger Robinson, Karen McCarthy, Nick Makoha, Denise Saul, Seni Seneviratne, Shazea Quraishi and Janet Kofi Tsekpo.
It's a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. The boy's motherwonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?
Lara is a powerful semi-autobiographical novel-in-verse based on Booker winner Bernardine Evaristo's own childhood and family history. The eponymous Lara is a mixed-race girl raised in Woolwich, a white suburb of London, during the 60s and 70s. Her father, Taiwo, is Nigerian, and her mother, Ellen, is white British. They marry in the 1950s, in spite of fierce opposition from Ellen's family, and quickly produce eight children in ten years. Lara is their fourth child and we follow her journey from restricted childhood to conflicted early adulthood, and then from London to Nigeria to Brazil as she seeks to understand herself and her ancestry. The novel travels back over 150 years, seven generations and three continents of Lara's ancestry. It is the story of Irish Catholics leaving generations of rural hardship behind and ascending to a rigid middle class in England; of German immigrants escaping poverty and seeking to build a new life in 19th century London; and of proud Yorubas enslaved in Brazil, free in colonial Nigeria and hopeful in post-war London. Lara explores the lives of those who leave one country in search of a better life elsewhere, but who end up struggling to be accepted even as they lay the foundations for their children and future generations. This is a new edition of Bernardine Evaristo's first novel Lara , rewritten and expanded by a third since its first publication in 1997.
FROM THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER LONGLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2009 WINNER OF THE ORANGE YOUTH PANEL AWARD 2009 FINALIST FOR THE HURSTON WRIGHT LEGACY AWARD 2010 'A phenomenal book. It is so ingenious and so novel. Think The Handmaid's Tale meets Noughts and Crosses with a bit of Jonathan Swift and Lewis Carroll thrown in. This should be thought of as a feminist classic.' Women's Prize for Fiction Podcast Welcome to a world turned upside down. One minute, Doris, from England, is playing hide-and-seek with her sisters in the fields behind their cottage. The next, someone puts a bag over her head and she ends up in the hold of a slave-ship sailing to the New World . . . In this fantastically imaginative inversion of the transatlantic slave trade - in which 'whytes' are enslaved by black people - Bernardine Evaristo has created a thought-provoking satire that is as accessible and readable as it is intelligent and insightful. Blonde Roots brings the shackles and cries of long-ago barbarity uncomfortably close and raises timely questions about the society of today.
FROM THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER Stanley Williams, angst-ridden banker and boffin, wonders whether there's more to life than his daily nine-to-five grind. One night he's dragged to a disco at Piccadilly Circus and there he meets Jessie: artiste, motormouth, ducker and diver. She swoops Stanley out of his soulless life and off on a rollercoaster road trip across Europe, bringing him face to face with a host of forgotten luminaries from the rich mix of black European history and literature.
FROM THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER '[Mr Loverman is] Brokeback Mountain with ackee and saltfish and old people' Dawn French WINNER OF THE JERWOOD FICTION UNCOVERED PRIZE 2014 and FERRO GRUMLEY AWARD FOR LGBT FICTION 2015 Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney since the sixties. A flamboyant, wise-cracking local character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for quoting Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father and grandfather - but he is also secretly homosexual, lovers with his great childhood friend, Morris. His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? Mr Loverman is a ground-breaking exploration of Britain's older Caribbean community, which explodes cultural myths and fallacies and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves. Praise for Bernardine Evaristo: 'One of Britain's most innovative authors . . . Bernardine Evaristo always dares to be different' New Nation 'Evaristo remains an undeniably bold and energetic writer, whose world view is anything but one-dimensional' Sunday Times 'Audacious genre-bending, in-yer-face wit and masterly retellings of underwritten corners of history are the hallmarks of Evaristo's work' New Statesman Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books including three critically acclaimed verse novels, Lara, The Emperor's Babe and Soul Tourists. Mr Loverman is her second prose novel, after 2008's Blonde Roots, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize and won the Orange Prize Youth Panel Award. Evaristo's other awards include the EMMA Best Book, Arts Council Award and the Big Red Read Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an MBE in 2009. She lives in London.
FROM THE BOOKER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER WINNER OF THE NESTA FELLOWSHIP AWARD 2003 'Wildly entertaining, deeply affecting' Ali Smith, author of How to be both and Autumn A coming-of-age tale to make the muses themselves roar with laughter and weep for pity -- sassy, razor-sharp and transformative -- from the acclaimed author of Mr Loverman Londinium, AD 211. Zuleika is a modern girl living in an ancient world. She's a back-alley firecracker, a scruffy Nubian babe with tangled hair and bare feet - and she's just been married off a fat old Roman. Life as a teenage bride is no joke but Zeeks is a born survivor. She knows this city like the back of her hand: its slave girls and drag queens, its shining villas and rotting slums. She knows how to get by. Until one day she catches the eye of the most powerful man on earth, the Roman Emperor, and her trouble really starts... Silver-tongued and merry-eyed, this is a story in song and verse, a joyful mash-up of today and yesterday. Kaleidoscoping distant past and vivid present, The Emperor's Babe asks what it means to be a woman and to survive in this thrilling, brutal, breathless world.