The morning after Bernardine Evaristo won the Booker Prize, for her novel “Girl, Woman, Other,” her American publisher, Grove Atlantic, announced that the book would come out in the United States a month earlier than previously scheduled — and that it was printing 50,000 more copies, up from an initial run of 10,000.
Now the book is set for release here on Nov. 5, and while it is Evaristo’s eighth novel, for many American readers it will be their first exposure to her work. “Girl, Woman, Other” is written in a mix of poetry and prose that she calls “fusion fiction,” featuring a dozen interconnected characters who are mostly black British women but varied in age, class, sexuality and gender.
It was an effort, she said, to show through these women, “We are all things and everything. You cannot dismiss us, nor can you easily define us.”
Evaristo is the first black woman to win the Booker, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, though this year’s prize made news for another reason as well: The judges, unable to choose one winner, gave it to her and Margaret Atwood, for her “Handmaid’s Tale” sequel “The Testaments.” That prompted a backlash among some of Evaristo’s fans who felt the split decision undermined her historic achievement.