Interview: Bernardine Evaristo

The New Statesman has an interesting interview with the Booker winner.

NS: It’s still rare in fiction to see a sexually voracious woman, like Amma, who is not somehow punished for her behaviour.

BE: I wanted to explore the idea of a polyamorous relationship as something that is acceptable and part of her life. People are critical, but Amma says, “Well, nobody criticises Mick Jagger or other rock stars who say ‘Oh, I’ve slept with a thousand women.’” But then there are other women in the novel who don’t have sex at all. It’s called Girl, Woman, Other: you see each character as a girl and as an adult, and then they are all “othered”, because they are black, women, non-binary, or because of their class or sexuality, or their immigrant status.

I’m not applying feminist ideology to the book. The characters contradict each other: they are flawed and complex and messy. Some are homophobic, some are feminists, some don’t even know what feminism is. It’s about constant variety and fluidity.

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