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Who runs the world? “Girl, Woman, Other”


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Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club16 Feb 2021. by Estela Highet. I wish we could have had more time to discuss this very interesting book, it has plenty of different topics and they are very related to what the world has been going through lately.

World of Women

Feminism, racism, cultural differences, sex and many more topics in one single book. All this through the million characters and therefore million stories to be told from each of them – which also made it a bit difficult to read. The principal characters were (only) 11 black women and one non-binary living in the UK.

The number of characters was big enough to keep everybody entertained and challenged, keeping track of all of them was not always an easy task. We all agreed that it was great to read a lot of pages at once to not forget them, but we also agreed that taking it easier would have helped as well. I guess it is just a difficult book to process sometimes and some of us found a summary list with the characters (so if you are planning to read it, ask for it!)

Women’s Day

The book won a Booker Prize in 2019 and some in the group thought that maybe 20 years ago it wouldn’t have won it. It could be related to the topics chosen by the author: they are very timely topics. One question I had by the end though was: did it win the prize because of the timely topics or are the timely topics changing our literature and people’s attention?

I prefer to think that as a society we are paying more attention to important topics, and that authors are willing to write more about them because people are educating themselves. Timely or not, I believe everyone enjoyed the book and we can recommend it.

Heads up though: for those very conventional, this book is written in an unconventional punctuation way (I actually thought my eBook file was broken) and this might take a few pages for everyone to adjust!

About the book
Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club

This is Britain as you’ve never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told. From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

This is a very “talked about book” and has gotten great reviews so we hope you will plan to get the book and enjoy this read.

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