Bernardine Evaristo – Girl, Woman, Other

Cardiff BookTalk is delighted to invite you to our event on 15 June 2022, where we will be considering the extraordinary Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Our guests this time will be Dr Deirdre Osborne from Goldsmiths College and Dr Suzanne Scafe of London South Bank University. This event will not be recorded – be there live or miss it!

forty years of first nights and she’s still bricking it

Amma Bonsu’s new play, The Last Amazon of Dahomey, is opening at the National Theatre tonight. A veteran playwright and activist, she’s spent decades lobbing hand grenades at the establishment—is she now about to join them? As she frets about her present success, she considers the lives of her sassy, confident daughter and the friend who left for America. But Amma’s story is just one of the interconnected tales in a novel that crisscrosses a century of the African diaspora in England and beyond, a bawdy, heart-breaking and exhilarating chronicle of growth and struggle and life.

A polyphonic, epic book, Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other is a layered, humane and uniquely engrossing novel, by turns perceptively funny, moving and fiercely imaginative and wise. An experiment in form that is also a riveting page-turner, it earned unanimous critical praise, topped the best-seller lists, and won the Booker Prize for 2019, the first Black woman and first Black British person to win it in its fifty-year history.

Barnardine Evaristo is co-founder of The Theatre of Black Women (1982), the writer-development agency Spread the Word (1995) and the poetry mentoring organisation for people of colour, Complete Works (2004). In 2012 she initiated the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, which is aimed at the development, celebration and promotion of poetry from Africa. Bernardine Evaristo’s notable works of fiction include Mr. Loverman, Soul Tourists and Blonde Roots, and the verse novels The Emperor’s Babe and Lara. Her memoir, Manifesto: on never giving up, was published last year. She is currently a Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

Guiding us in our discussion of Girl, Woman, Other, Cardiff BookTalk will be welcoming two expert speakers:

Deirdre Osborne PhD FRSA is a Reader in English Literature and Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London. Co-founder of the MA Black British Literature, her research spans late-Victorian, to contemporary literature. She edited the Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature (1945-2010) (2016) in which Suzanne Scafe contributes a chapter on Black British women’s life-writing and is Associate Editor of the journal Women’s Writing (Taylor and Francis). Her latest book is This is the Canon: Decolonise Your Bookshelf in Fifty Books with Joan Anim-Addo and Kadija Sesay (Hachette, 2021) 

Suzanne Scafe is a Visiting Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Brighton.  She is the co-author of The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain, republished in 2018, and co-editor of several collections of essays on Caribbean and Black British women’s writing, the most recent of which is the interdisciplinary anthology of essays, published this year, entitled African-Caribbean Women Interrogating Diaspora/(Post) Diaspora.  She has written extensively on Black British women’s literary fiction, life writing, and poetry, and on writers including Bernardine Evaristo, Dorothea Smartt, Diana Evans and Irenosen Okojie. Her book Reading to Resist: Ethical Approaches to Black British Women’s Fiction will be published in 2023.

Each of our speakers will present a 10-15 minute talk, and then there is an opportunity for audience questions and discussion. To make the most of the session, you may like to read Girl, Woman, Other. Further recommended texts include Bernardine Evaristo’s Soul Tourists, Blonde Roots, Lara and Manifesto: on never giving up.

The event is free and open to all. Book your place via Eventbrite at the link below:

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