Review: Girl, Woman, Other

I can’t ignore the timing of this read. The world is rightly up in arms over an unjust killing of a black male at the hands of the police. He isn’t the only one, but his death can’t be ignored.

For those of us that thought we were in a better place than 50, 60 years ago, this has highlighted that we are sadly mistaken. What we call for now is not just for people to be not racist, but for them to be anti-racist. Living life as we are is, some say, nothing more than apathy. We should be educated on race relations so we can educate the next generation. We should be more proactive in creating a more equal society.

For us readers, we should read widely. Read from people that are not like you, read from those that are. Read from not only people of colour, or people from all over the world, but read about disability, poverty, those that struggle with mental health, those of a different sexuality and generation to you. Read things that make you uncomfortable, but also read things that make you laugh. Keep educating yourself, and others. If you have read something recently that opened your eyes up to another person’s experience of the world, then share it and pass it on.

Here is mine.

Girl, Woman, Other is an incredible feat in character development, each lady brimming full of colour and singing with their own individual voice. Living in different decades, living their lives, they each have their own struggles.

I enjoyed the interwoven nature of the stories, written without punctuation it relies on line breaks to tell the story, giving it a fluid pace. If anything I found it easier to read than regular prose.

Yes it is about race, yes it is about women and yes it is about sexuality, but most importantly to me it is about variety. No one woman the same, and nor should they be. Their backgrounds and experiences could not be more different from each other. Each chapter is a window into a life, leaving us with a new perspective.

A review mentioned on the cover describes the book as a depiction of modern Britain. It is not the modern Britain you normally read about and that is exactly why you should.

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