37 pages 1 hour read

Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Chapter 1Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1, Section 1 Summary: “Amma”

Content Warning: This section of guide includes discussions of anti-gay prejudice, racism, and violence, including domestic abuse and rape.

The book begins in the perspective of Amma Bonsu, a middle-aged theater director who is on her way to London’s National Theatre for a rehearsal of her most recent play, The Last Amazon of Dahomey, a work of historical fiction about warrior lesbian Amazons. The entire run of the show sold out before one review was filed. As she walks, Amma reflects on her life and career trajectory. After she “spent decades on the fringe,” Amma is now receiving recognition for her work (2). As a young person, she was a budding queer feminist living in a King’s Cross squat with other young people interested in alternative lifestyles. While living in the squat, she slept with a myriad of women and was reticent to settle down.

She reflects on meeting her best friend Dominique, a fellow Black woman looking for work as an actor but unable to land parts that did not stereotype Black womanhood. In her recollection, Dominique and Amma bond over this marginality and agree to start their own all-female theater company.

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Related Titles

By Bernardine Evaristo