Fiction Book of the Year

Winner - Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo

Hamish Hamilton

The judges for this award were blown away by Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker- winning novel Girl, Woman, Other: “an incredible piece of publishing… absolutely fascinating”, they said. Of the six books shortlisted here, commercial success was far from guaranteed for Evaristo.

To break the author into a wider audience, Hamish Hamilton started its grassroots campaign early by sending proofs to “prominent figures outside the usual literary influence”, such as MPs and journalists. The publisher doubled down on its efforts after the book jointly won the Booker last summer, pushing the novel to even greater heights.

The cover itself acknowledges the subject of the novel: themes of race, class and migration were highlighted with archival images of black women in Britain alongside bold African patterns. It projects “total self-assurance and swagger”, the judges reckoned.

The book, told in the voices of 12 mostly black British women, aged 19 to 93, who are drawn from varied cultural backgrounds, classes and sexualities, dazzled the judges, who praised the author’s “experimental” and “innovative” writing style.

The Shortlist