37 pages 1 hour read

Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Character Analysis

Amma Bonsu

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

Girl, Woman, Other outlines the arc of Amma’s creative career. Her life represents the struggle of a female artist of color coming of age in Britain. With humor and empathy, Evaristo highlights the contradictions of being an artist and contending with the often conflicting demands of the capitalist marketplace and the art-making process. A proud visionary, Amma eventually receives recognition for her struggles through the acclaimed staging of her play The Last Amazon of Dahomey. Amma’s play serves as a staging area for many of the characters to finally meet in person. Her commitments to feminism and to art inspire those around her, even her daughter, Yazz, though she is loath to admit it.

Yazz

Yazz walks through the world with the stereotypical arrogance of an adolescent. However, her assuredness of her own understanding of the world and the way things should be, from feminism to identity politics, is soon shaken when she meets a dynamic group of friends at the beginning of her college career who defy all expectations of their positionality in the world, from an English farmgirl whom Yazz expects to be ignorant to the world of identity politics and who turns out to be well-versed in the philosophies of Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay to a young Muslim woman who fashions her hijabs in glitter and forbids Yazz to essentialize her based on her religious identity.

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Related Titles

By Bernardine Evaristo