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Long before winning the 2019 Man Booker Prize for her polyphonic novel, Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo was a force of nature in British literature. A novelist, critic, poet, theatre-maker and editor, Evaristo is known for her remarkable range with voice and form. She’s written verse novels (Lara) and speculative fiction (Blonde Roots) as well as plays, essays and radio documentaries.
In London in the 1980s, Evaristo co-founded the trail-blazing Theatre for Black Women. In Girl, Woman, Other, the opening night of a black feminist’s play is the device that connects the 12 loosely interconnected stories that make up the novel. These are the stories of very different characters – mostly black British women – including a playwright, a banker, a teacher, an elderly landowner and an activist-influencer.
In each chapter, Evaristo inhabits the perspective of a different character. She explores how the characters navigate cruelties and injustices and how they embrace risk, seize chances and chase thrills. It’s a funny and profound novel that shows women challenging, confounding, betraying, adoring and sustaining each other.
At Deakin Edge in May, Evaristo will talk contradiction and complexity in the novel today.
This event will be Auslan interpreted.
Bestselling author Bernardine Evaristo won the 2019 Booker Prize with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other. It was also one of Barack Obama’s Top 19 Books of 2019. Her other books include Mr Loverman, Blonde Roots, and The Emperor’s Babe. Her writing spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for radio. As an activist, she has founded several successful arts inclusion projects such as The Complete Works (2007–2017), a mentoring scheme for poets of colour. She has won several awards and honours, including the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2009. Bernardine is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, the Age, Meanjin, the Saturday Paper and the Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015.