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Bernardine Evaristo defines her style as ‘fusion fiction’: ‘As a storyteller, I like to mix things up temporally, spatially and stylistically – to cross the borders of genre, race, culture, gender, history and sexuality’. But how did she come to develop it? Here the Booker Prize-winning author takes The Reading Room through her stylistic journey.

Girl, Woman, Other started off as a 15 minute, four verse short story called LondonChoralCelstialJazz which was about four black women. Only one of those four women made it through to the final book and that was the very memorable and much-loved Carole. Luckily for The Reading Room, Bernardine has kept some of the original text which you can read here today.

To give an example of Bernardine’s earlier writing style, she has provided us with this poem which is called Moving Through and was written forty years ago and performed by an ensemble of young actors. These actors were part of a black writers festival at the Royal Court in 1982 which was the same year that Bernardine graduated from Rose Bruford College of  Theatre and Performance.

Many thanks to Bernardine Evaristo for sharing these fascinating pieces with The Reading Room and providing us with such a valuable insight into her writing.

All images courtesy of Bernardine Evaristo

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