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1. Lucy: A Novel
2. A Small Place
3. Autobiography of My Mother
4. Annie John: A Novel
5. At the Bottom of the River
6. Jamaica Kincaid: A Critical Companion
7. My Garden (Book)
8. Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya
9. Jamaica Kincaid: Writing Memory,
10. My Mother's Garden
11. My Brother
13. Lucy
14. Caribbean Genesis: Jamaica Kincaid
15. Jamaica Kincaid: Where the Land
16. Understanding Jamaica Kincaid
17. Talk Stories
18. Poetics of Place: Photographs
19. Lucy. Roman.
20. Cosmopolitan Fictions: Ethics,

1. Lucy: A Novel
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 176 Pages (2002-09-04)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$6.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527350
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The coming-of-age story of one of Jamaica Kincaid's most admired creations--newly available in paperback

Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to North America to work as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children. Lewis and Mariah are a thrice-blessed couple--handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Yet, alomst at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful facade. With mingled anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the assumptions and verities of her employers' world and compares them with the vivid realities of her native place. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is.

At the same time that Lucy is coming to terms with Lewis's and Mariah's lives, she is also unravelling the mysteries of her own sexuality. Gradually a new person unfolds: passionate, forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character possessed with adamantine clearsightedness and ferocious integrity--a captivating heroine for our time.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Simple Yet Beautiful
The complex and seemingly sinister disposition of "Lucy", appropriately named as the feminine version of Lucifer, is told in a simplistically subtle beauty that was either appreciated or lost on the members of the Uptown Girls Harlem Book Club. The story is of a young Caribbean au pair who recounts her experiences of her native land as she makes a home for herself in a cold New York-like city. Through her eyes the reader watches the dissolution of a flimsy marriage whose end is solidified when the handsome cultivated husband licks the neck of his wife's best friend.

Lucy has a sour personality that is surpirsingly delicate. The issues of finding oneself, the relationships between mother and daughter, and the liberation, or lack thereof, of a young woman in the late 1960s is explored in a an unassuming wisdom that is quiet yet poignant. The book is short and makes for a quick read but the topics discussed are timely and easily filled, at least, an hour of our meeting.

The book is sexy. Despite the sexual exploits of Lucy with males and a female, the book lacks the vulgarity prevalent in popular fiction today. The author is almost surgical with vocabulary and punctuation usage which makes for a delightful read whose beauty is either noticed instantly or comes to fruition like a sunrise when the words are fully reflected upon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book Purchase
The first book sent was not the quality advertised. However after contacting the company they quickly resolved the issue without any problems. Excellent service.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and engaging.
Kincaid's writing style is deceptively simple.There is more to Lucy than the adolescent malcontent, and layers of meaning thrive beneath every lyrical line.The cyclical nature of the story resists typical linear development - there IS character growth and plot development.'Lucy' will be a boring read if you're a lazy reader: look deeper.

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring, Lame, Unstimulating
Lucy, by Jamiaca Kincaid, was one of the most boring books that I have ever been subjected to. It made me want to cry, and not from tears. Rather, it was from the boredom and wasting away of life that I experienced while reading. Lucy is a depressed and somber character that fails to find happiness, because she is not searching for it. Depressing. I know.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3 and a 1/2 stars
One thing you should know before picking up this book is that the main character, Lucy, is an extremely f**ked up kid who, overall, is wholly unlikeable. That being said however, the book does have its strong points. Lucy is a girl from the West Indies who comes to North America as an au pair. Her journey through the book not only shows us some of the prejudices she must endure, but more ironically shows the extremes of her own prejudices.
I found a lot of the book to be seemingly hopeless and exasperating, but it is also an eye opener in the realm of the subjugated. There is also something of a ray of hope at the book's finish.
Lastly, this book is very much manifested from some of the author's own experiences as a native of Antigua and it would really do a reader good to read Jamaica Kincaid's easily readable yet extremely angry essay, "On Seeing England for the First Time," before delving into this book.
"Lucy" is short and worth the time it takes to finish as I believe the story is more defined by what is furtively omitted (yet alluded to) than what is actually displayed in black and white. ... Read more

2. A Small Place
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 96 Pages (2000-04-28)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$3.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527075
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua--by the author of Annie John

"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the Prime Minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him--why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen . . ."

So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

1-0 out of 5 stars More like a Yahoo rant than an academic work
What can one say about this bile-spouting piece of 'work.' It sounds more like a race-baiting spewing rather than a published work.

Rather than opening a dialogue about the real-life affects of colonization on island countries - which would be valid and interesting -Kincaid instead resorts to vile, hateful name calling that can is more appriate to trolls on a yahoo forum rather than in a book that is actually taught to college students! At least the horrendous accounts of slavery minimized by white writers of colonial times were in the PAST, Kincaids mean spirited account is in the last 15 years!

Her chapter on England is taken up by page after page of, basically, a poorly articulated and poorly puncuated rant - its not even remotely well written, its just awful! Example: "there was Christopher Columbus, an unlikeable man, an unpleasant man, a liar (and so, of course, a thief) surround by maps and schemes....eventually his idea met the longed-for reality" Really, he was unlikeable? unpleasant? a liar? What a genious observation and assessment of colonialism! Bravo for mastering high school level analysis.

Ironically, after page after page of rants about white people and western world, she moves to anglo-cultured US - i guess so that she can collect more anger to provide more writings.

A sad, sad piece of work.

3-0 out of 5 stars Racist ablut racism
The book is written in an angry tone which I believe would put most readers on the defense, rather than generating any sympathy for the writer's perspective. In her contempt for tourist's and Europeans, the author makes so many generalizations and expresses so much prejudice against these groups I found her point ironic and hypocritical. I did enjoy the book and being able to see and learn about Antigua through a native's perspective. It was an easy read, and whether or not it was the intention of the author I do not know, but finding myself on the defensive and a target of racism gave me a much better understanding of how victims of prejudice feel. This could have been genius on the author's part, but I doubt it would be very effective for most readers. This won't ever make my "must read" list.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written, Regardless of Your Politics
I love this book because it is beautifully written- lyrical, poetic, smart.I think she captures her complicated opinions on the culture and history of Antigua wonderfully.It's a brutally honest book, which I think is refreshing.As far as I know, and I may be wrong, she doesn't really represent this as anything other than her opinion.So by "brutally honest," I don't mean everything in it is true, in a textbook kind of way. I just mean that she expresses an eloquent, honest, complicated, contradictory portrait of how she feels. And the writing is beautiful.It's best described as a "poetic essay."If you're looking for a travel guide or a straight non-fiction history book, this isn't it and it shouldn't be marketed that way.

I don't feel strongly about the politics of this book, nor did I feel particularly hated (I'm a white American), but I guess I could see how you might feel that way if you are the sort of person who takes everything personally.

1-0 out of 5 stars No Information Just Full of Malice
I was expecting an interesting book that would educate me on this island before I traveled there.What I read was a dreadful book full of hatred and malice.If you are looking for information, go elsewhere.If you are looking for a book filled with anglican hatred, you have found yourself a gem!

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic
This was a wonderful book.Antigua is a very "Small Place" but it really looks at the big picture and illustrates colonialism and neocolonialism as it happened all around the world.A really heartbreaking portrait of the island of Antigua. ... Read more

3. Autobiography of My Mother
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 240 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452274664
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
After her mother dies at birth, Xuela is left by her father with his laundress for the next seven years in a home where she feels no love or affection, so when she moves in with her father's friends, the LaBattes, she finds pleasure however she can. Reprint. NYT. Amazon.com Review
"My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole life there was nothing standing between myself and eternity," writes Jamaica Kincaid in this disturbing, compelling novel set on the island of Dominica. Born to a doomed Carib woman and a Scottish African policeman of increasing swagger and wealth, narrator Xuela spends a lifetime unanchored by family or love. She disdains the web of small and big lies that link others, allowing only pungent, earthy sensuality--a mix of blood and dirt and sex--to move her. Even answering its siren call, though, Xuela never loses sight of the sharp loss that launched her into the world and the doors through which she will take her leave. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written and deeply touching book
In rich and poetic prose, Kincaid powerfully describes the life story of Xuela, a woman with an alienated and barren soul, who cannot love and does not want to be loved, yet surprisingly is very sensual. Kincaid points to the role of motherly love, and the bond to the homeland in forming the individual personality and consequently one's flow of life.
My quote: "A human being, a person, many people, a people, will say their surroundings, form their consciousness, their very being; they will get up every morning and look at green hills, white cliffs, silver mountains, fields of golden grain, rivers of blue-glinting water, and in the beauty of this- and it is beautiful, they cannot help but find it beautiful - they invisibly, magically, conquer the distance that is between them and the beauty they are beholding, and they feel themselves become one with it, they draw strength from it, they are inspired by it to sing songs, to compose verse ..."
A highly recommended read.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Acquired Taste!!!!!!!!!!!!
I enjoyed this book though some of my friends had different thoughts. Overall I enjoyed doing business with you!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars a must read
this Book takes you on a journey for knowledge and understanding. it speaks to gaining something that is powerful that will be a stepping stone for better days and times ahead. this Book deals with expierences andcoming to terms with life and how it has been dealt and the choices that you have to make.alot of issues and challenges are met head on and dealt with. very strong and well written book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The autobiography of "EVERY" Caribbean mother.
Jamaica Kincaid's work always provokes sentiment for me. As a fellow Caribbean native, she describes some deep darks truths about people. . .truths that are consistent only among Caribs as they are influenced by thier social and cultural norms.In this novel, the mother's character, at parts, seemed much like my own mother: Having a dream of a better existence, but having it crushed by a woman whose dreams have also been diminished. And thus, a vicious cycle within a society of women who never seem to truly live; instead, only exist to raise other crushed little girls to yield even more unfulfilled woman.

Don't look for any made-up or whimsical fantasies here. You will find yourself precisely where little secrets lie. . .in places you will only visit by way of Kincaid's chariot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zowie! Kincaid sucks readers in again
Autobiography of My Mother is a powerful, mesmerizing, and other-worldy tale of Xuela, a woman of Dominica, West Indies, who is a worthy subject for Kincaid's musical cadences and rapturous prose. Boy, can this woman write - and she infuses all her prose with the lilting voices of her compatriots. There's no way to read her work aloud without finding yourself lapsing into the patois, sing-songy style of speech that comes thru so clearly in her writing. This book is a painful tale, the recounting of a difficult life without much love shown to the girl as she grows from motherless infant to strong and bitter young woman who aborts her pregnancy and remains defiant the rest of her life. Raised motherless herself, she determines never to mother others. Taken on a metaphorical level, the woman's story could be the story of Dominica, torn by suffering, racism, power, and the unbreakable bonds that bind them together.
Powerful writing on so, so many levels. ... Read more

4. Annie John: A Novel
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 148 Pages (1997-06-30)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374525102
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The author of a prize-winning collection of short stories, At the Bottom of the River, presents her first novel, about a girl growing up in Antigua and her ambivalent but inescapable relationship with her mother. Reprint. NYT. Amazon.com Review
Jamaica Kincaid beautifully delineates hatred and fear,because she knows they are often a step away from love andobsession. At the start of Annie John, her 10-year-old heroineis engulfed in family happiness and safety. Though Annie loves herfather, she is all eyes for her mother. When she is almost 12,however, the idyll ends and she falls into deep disfavor. Thisinexplicable loss mars both lives, as each grows adept at publicfalsity and silent betrayal. The pattern is set, and extended:"And now I started a new series of betrayals of people and thingsI would have sworn only minutes before to die for." In front ofAnnie's father and the world, "We were politeness and kindnessand love and laughter." Alone they are linked in loathing. Annietries to imagine herself as someone in a book--an orphan or a girlwith a wicked stepmother. The trouble is, she finds, those characters'lives always end happily. Luckily for us, though not perhaps for heralter ego, Kincaid is too truthful a writer to provide such a finale. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (75)

3-0 out of 5 stars A semi-decent read
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid is definitely not a story i would pick up on my own. It was assigned to me as reading for an English assignment and it met my somewhat low expectations. The story is of a girl figuring out the trials and tribulations of growing up in post colonial Antigua.The main character, Annie, has a deep connection with her mother which is broken as she becomes a young woman. The novel goes on to discuss her childhood adventures and friendships and ends with her leaving to America. Even less interesting is that Annie comes from a middle class family and faces no real difficulties, just those she places on herself. It is a well written novel however it is in no way remarkable and doesn't truly address an original issue, just the same old theme of 'growing up' that has been addressed by many different authors. This novel will most likely be a one-time read as it is not thought provoking enough to prompt me to read it a second time through. Therefore i would not recommend purchasing this novel. It was difficult to reflect on anything in this novel because all of its themes and morals are laying in front of you, no thinking involved.I assume the only way a person could give this five stars is if they had a personal connection with the novel or they like not having to think. Frankly it is quite generous to give it a three star review, I personally would give it a two and a half if i could. This book is definitely tailored to a small, specific audience, an audience that I am not part of.

4-0 out of 5 stars Individuation
Annie John was a very engaging well written book that I think every mother and daughter should read together. Annie John narrates her life as a young black child living on the island of Antigua from the age of ten- seventeen. She was a curious, brilliant girl who has to learn to embrace the notion and reality of severance from her early childhood memories.
She and her mother, whom she absolutely adores, start out by being very close with one another, almost inseparable. Her mother would tend to Annie in so many ways: starting her baths, reading her stories, taking her shopping, and teaching her in every way how to be a strong independent woman. As time passes, Annie begins to notice how her bond with her mother has become undermined. She realizes that she has to go from a little girl and try to find herself as she grows into adulthood. In her transitions and struggles, she feels as if the passion and love she feels with her mother have diminished. Her mother begins separating herself away from Annie as she realizes the extent of her daughter's needs and her dependence. That only leads to Annie having much hatred for her mother. Annie begins acting out against her mother.
At the top of her class, Annie was a wise, mischievous girl who was quite popular amongst her peers. Throughout her days in school she made close friends with two girls Gwen and The red girl, who Annie sort of uses as a relief from the neglect of her mother. With all the intensity from the conflict between her mother and her realization of their separation she has a mental breakdown and becomes bed ridden for months. Her grandmother "Ma Chess" helps heal her. Annie survives and understands that she needs to leave the island and make a new life for herself, and begins to understand that we will not always be united with our loved ones on earth but will forever be bonded through spirit.

1-0 out of 5 stars leanders opinion
I didnt like this book at all and I thought it was very boring. Also it was some what inapropriate!

4-0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER COMING OF AGE STORY
This coming of age story is sensitive and tranquil.It doesn't shout but is sound. Poetic writing. Worth a detour.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely writing but not Kincaid's best
This novel has the same beautiful, flowing, sparkling language as LUCY, which I loved. The sentences are a joy to read (they reminded me a little of Thom Jones, with their relentless, driving, dialogue-free qualities). This is essentially a slice-of-life story about Annie's teenage years in the West Indies that ends with her leaving for England. Annie is an interesting and complex character and I admired the unquestioning way in which we are told about her falling in love (crush?) with Gwen and the Red Girl. There is a wonderfully female sensibility in this book, the kind that is confident enough to portray women in all their complexity, as bad and as good, as able to wish well and able to rejoice in other's pain. However, the mother-daughter relationship did not convince me. I felt as if the writer knew more about this relationship than the reader was being told and so when I came to the sentence `I no longer loved my mother,' I did not believe it because I had seen to reason for this. The mother changes as the daughter gets older and, even making room for normal teenage angst, there were parts of the narrative that seemed determined to have the mother and daughter estranged even if it was not organic to the rest of the narrative. Of course, this happens in real life all the time but the demands of fiction are different - the reader should not be expected to make assumptions from `real life.' Still, Jamaica Kincaid is a brilliant writer. Her language is superb and her story-telling, even if not best demonstrated here, is remarkable. ... Read more

5. At the Bottom of the River
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 96 Pages (2000-10-15)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527342
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jamaica Kincaid's inspired, lyrical short stories

Reading Jamaica Kincaid is to plunge, gently, into another way of seeing both the physical world and its elusive inhabitants.Her voice is, by turns, naively whimsical and biblical in its assurance, and it speaks of what is partially remembered partly divined.The memories often concern a childhood in the Caribbean--family, manners, and landscape--as distilled and transformed by Kincaid's special style and vision.

Kincaid leads her readers to consider, as if for the first time, the powerful ties between mother and child; the beauty and destructiveness of nature; the gulf between the masculine and the feminine; the significance of familiar things--a house, a cup, a pen.Transfiguring our human form and our surroundings--shedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect place--these stories tell us something we didn't know, in a way we hadn't expected.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ordinary but also Extraordinary
I got this book because it is one of the required books I need for my college class. When I began reading the book, I didn't like nor dislike the book because it is a strange book comparing to many books I have read so far in college and through out my life. This book consists of many ordinary stories such as our everyday life. For instance, "I am trying to read. The book is lying in my lap. I look around me, trying to find something on which to focus my eyes." Some of the stories are extraordinary or strange if you would want to consider them. For instance, "Now I am a girl, but one day I will marry a woman-a red-skin woman with black bramblebush hair and brown eyes, who wears skirts that are so big I can easily bury my head in them." or "I stood up on the edge of the basin and felt myself move. But what self? For I had no feet, or hands, or head, or heart-having once been there, were now stripped away, as if I had been dipped again and again, over and over, in a large vat filled with some precious elements and were now reduced to something I yet had no name for. I had no name for the thing I had become, so new was it to me, except that I did not exist in pain or pleasure, east or west or north or south, or up or down, or past or present or future, or real or not real." This book is a beautiful poem but from reading the book, it didn't teach me much but it does somewhat inspire me to write my own book. (If this what you call a book, I can write one also.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Lyricism & Abstract Imagery
'At the Bottom of the River' is a lyrical collection of some of Jamaica Kincaid's most provocative writing. Although occasionally confounding in her use of abstract images and construction of abstruse and ethereal narratives, Kincaid's stories nevertheless contain breathtaking lyricism and innovative lines of poetic prose; her words seem to reverberate from the very recesses of metamorphic meaning.

This collection begins innocently enough with one of Kincaid's most impacting writings, Girl. Girl is one of the most severe but accurate depictions of the volatile intensity between mother and daughter. Fueled by a combination of love, fear, and partial loathing, a mother doles out a mantra of life lessons with equal parts concern and venom: "When buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash. ... Always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the (...) you are so bent on becoming." The essays that follow are sinewy with sexual, violent, and spiritual themes.

Kincaid's strength lies in her rage. One senses it above all in her amazing control over words, which, while extremely satisfying on the level of literary technique, also comes across as a refusal to be vulnerable and a reply to anyone who would try to keep her down.

Like a journal, 'At the Bottom of the River' matures in content as it proceeds. Kincaid's prose-poetry initially appears whimsical (she describes some pebbles as "not pebbly enough") and that's the mystique of her writing, how it almost capriciously masks cerebral contemplations on living, dying, and the struggle in-between.

4-0 out of 5 stars Love, sadness, and growing up in the Caribbean
Jamaica Kincaid's AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER is a study of voice and language that first brought the author recognition beyond the pages of literary journals. These ten stories, all but the last extremely short, are set in an intense Caribbean landscape where a girl comes of age in the shadow of her mother; they are hallucinatory, tense, and indirect, leaving much for the reader to interpret.For example, the first story, "Girl", is a monologue spoken by the mother giving advice ("this is how you set a table for dinner") interspersed with comments degrading the daughter.The two italicized, one-sentence responses from the daughter speak volumes about this complicated relationship. "What I Have Been Doing Lately" is a dream-like narrative that lists what the narrator is (probably not) doing and, in the process, illustrates the emotional state of someone so sad that she just wants to lie in bed."At the Bottom of the River", the final, longest, and most traditional of the stories, implies the past and future of the narrator through visions seen "at the bottom of the river."

Kincaid's style combines the effect of the simple but perfect word with the lilt of Caribbean rhythms.On the surface, these stories are not difficult to read, but they can be challenging to understand for the reader accustomed to more traditional methods of storytelling.The collection is about as short as a book can get, and so the stories can be read in one sitting, back to back, although their absorption can take much longer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Genius Mind
At the Bottom of the River is a lovely rendition of a writer's mind, leisure, vision, appeal, hope, awareness and understanding.This project surpasses what the common reader readies for in the telling of a good story.Each sentence in this work is a story.I will write it again:Each sentence is a story with perfect images, "The branches were dead; a fly hung dead on the branches, its fragile body fluttering in the wind as if it were remnants of a beautiful gown."Ms. Kincaid's style throughout At the Bottom might put one in the mind of Gertrude Stein. The repetition. Certainly, however, Ms. Kincaid's project is her own, very distinctive genius.It takes us to a place that lacks anything hackneyed and it is shaped with qualities that peck at our curiousity.The book works in first person and third person never conveniently laying the story out as a consecutive.But there are characters; there is a central character to follow.The movement is chopped with these extraordinary, brilliant images beyond description and most every sentence leaves on the tongue the question of "who did that?" or "why?": "Someone is making a basket, someone is making a girl a dress or a boy a shirt, someone is making her husband a soup with cassava so that he can take it to the cane field tomorrow, someone is making his wife a beautiful mahogany chest, someone is sprinkling a colorless powder outside a closed door so that someone else's child will be stillborn." And so you get these incredible juxtapositions along side wholesome chops of fascinating imagery.We move through childhood, through relationships, through friendships, through parents and through self.And there is even dialogue for the reader who whines that there is no plot.

Ms. Kincaid writes this piece in a style that is deeply dense and in a way we are able to see, on the pages, a character's mind, discovery, understanding and wonder (no part of nature is left unturned).We are even privy to questions and philosophy and resignations about life and death.In this piece Ms. Kincaid gives new meaning to "the universal eye".

At the Bottom of the River is brilliant, genius!A must read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Kincaid's stories have a distinct voice and accent, which perpetuate the subversion of standard rules prescribed by centres of authority. She appropriates that authority, by indulging in a style of writing which is unique (the two page sentences) and the inversion of punctuation and syntax canons. Her plotless stories describe a state of being which is fractured, which has no beginning or an end, which is struggling to come to terms with its marginalized existence in terms of race, color, gender and economic status. Being an immigrant in USA, the nameless character's struggle for self-definition, identity, and a truncated and oppressed past transfigure powerfully in this collection. The sense of dislocation encountered in her journey to America, the traveling from the Carribean to a new country, a new culture and discourse in which she must chart her own path towards self-discovery, enlightenment out her 'blackness', the assertion of her 'girl'hood, can only be relocated in vague forms 'at the bottom of the river'.

Effectively disruptive, beautiful, introspective and soulful. Read this book if you are colored or an immigrant. Read this book even if your aren't colored or an immigrant. You'll love it. ... Read more

6. Jamaica Kincaid: A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers)
by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
Hardcover: 200 Pages (1999-09-30)
list price: US$46.95 -- used & new: US$46.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313302952
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With the publication of her novel Annie John in 1985, Jamaica Kincaid entered the ranks of the best novelists of her generation. Her three autobiographical novels, Annie John, Lucy, and Autobiography of My Mother, and collection of short stories, At the Bottom of the River, touch on the universal theme of coming of age and the female adolescent's need to sever her ties to her mother. This angst is couched in the social landscape of post-colonial Antigua, a small Caribbean island whose legacy of racism affects Kincaid's protagonists. Her fiction rewrites the history of the Caribbean from a West Indies perspective and this milieu colors the experiences of her characters. ... Read more

7. My Garden (Book)
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 240 Pages (2001-05-15)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527768
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
One of our finest writers on one of her greatest loves.Jamaica Kincaid's first garden in Vermont was a plot in the middle of her front lawn. There, to the consternation of more experienced friends, she planted only seeds of the flowers she liked best. In My Garden (Book): she gathers all she loves about gardening and plants, and examines it generously, passionately, and with sharp, idiosyncratic discrimination. Kincaid's affections are matched in intensity only by her dislikes. She loves spring and summer but cannot bring herself to love winter, for it hides the garden. She adores the rhododron Jane Grant, and appreciates ordinary Blue Lake string beans, but abhors the Asiatic lily. The sources of her inspiration -- seed catalogues, the gardener Gertrude Jekyll, gardens like Monet's at Giverny -- are subjected to intense scrutiny. She also examines the idea of the garden on Antigua, where she grew up. My Garden (Book): is an intimate, playful, and penetrating book on gardens, the plants that fill them, and the persons who tend them.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good review from a surprising place
I was sitting in a tire repair shop awaiting bad news and reading Jamaica Kincaid's My Garden to while away the time.Suddenly, the young technician approached to tell me that things were not so bad after all - and better yet, he informed me that I was reading a GREAT book! Who would have thought to receive a recommendation on a gardening book from a kid with axle grease on his hands!

He went on to explain that his teacher had assigned the book in his writing class at the local college, and he found it enchanting. (That wasn't his choice of words, but you get the drift.)

And indeed, it was an enchanting read. From her poetic mastery of the English language, to her transplanted Caribbean viewpoint, Kincaid writes from a different place - and don't we read at least partly to hear a different voice? Touching softly upon some very strong political sensibilities, Kincaid makes you think about earth's garden of souls as well as plants.

1-0 out of 5 stars This garden needs a good weeding!
If Jamaica Kincaid's book were a garden, it would be a very weedy one indeed. I've enjoyed her occasional pieces on gardening for The New Yorker, but I quickly guessed (and a check in the front of the book confirmed) that the book is a compilation of pieces that have been published elsewhere. How else to account for the wearying repetition of names, places, incidents, and (worst of all) thoughts? There are some bright spots, particularly Kincaid's meditations on English and Antiguan gardens, and thus on the relationship between colonizer and subjects. However, even this subject becomes, as its themes are repeated, tedious. It's hard to say who this book is intended for. Even non-gardeners may enjoy an occasional piece about gardening, but how does such a reader know what Kincaid is talking about when she describes (more than once, I assure you) what a White Flower Farm catalog looks like or why a Festiva Maxima peony is beautiful? And if you are a gardener, one truly interested in growing flowers (Kincaid says little about growing vegetables), you will find no tips or helpful advice here, just endless rhetorical questions. Finally, Kincaid's meandering style is better for short pieces than for a book. By the time I reached the incredibly self-absorbed account of her trip to China, I began to sympathize with the tour leader she maligns. This book is one for the compost heap, I'm afraid. Too bad---the graphic design of the book is quite lovely.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy
I felt as if my head was being beaten against a flower pot.I was hoping to read a book about gardening, not about racial situations.Couldn't finish it.Sorry.There are better books out there.I know Miss Kincaid must have an agenda, but why drag in into the garden?

4-0 out of 5 stars Quite different (for a garden book)
I found this book at a library book sale and bought it because of the subject (I enjoy garden writings immensely) and because of the loveliness of the book itself.
The first story about a wisteria that won't bloom at the proper time is the only story I didn't like. The author repeated the sentece "What to do?" so many times that it got on my last nerve. Her writing in that piece seemed to be the meanderings of her thoughts that she then attempted to give a heavy-handed poetic touch. I enjoyed the rest of the pieces.
This book is not typical of garden books and Jamaica Kincaid puts in bits and pieces of her life, touching on racial issues and gardener snobbery. Some sentences widen the eyes and make you read it again because it is so unexpected, tidbits that most other authors would self-censor. The author can come across as a bit offensive, particularly when branding various people "ugly", and I'm not sure if she would be a difficult person to know or a fun person to know - maybe both, but I definitely enjoyed her writings and am glad I didn't let her wisteria story deter me from reading the rest of the book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Insufferable
I found this book insufferable, and didn't get to finish it.The contrived title should have tipped me off.Why isn't Amazon listing it correctly? It should be My Garden (Book):

For started, i don't really care for Jamaica Kincaid's writing style.She uses punctuation sparsely, and you go for what it seems like a mile with no period in sight.In the meantime, she has branched in a myriad of extra information, and after a while it gets to be too much to keep track of.This is not stream of consciousness writing, or at least not the good kind anyway.

What really did me in was the beginning of her anecdote titled "Reading":

"It was a day in late October and I had two thousand dollars' worth of heirloom bulbs to place in the ground [...]"

If that wasn't enough, then she continues:

"I do not like winter or anything that represents it ..."

What is she doing then living in Vermont?!

She came across as a malcontent human being who agonizes over insignificant stuff, like the exact month her wisterias bloom.She takes the joy out of gardening, and out of reading. ... Read more

8. Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya (National Geographic Directions)
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 208 Pages (2007-07-17)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$4.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 142620096X
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this delightful hybrid of a book—part memoir and part travel journal—the bestselling author takes us deep into the mountains of Nepal with a trio of botanist friends in search of native Himalayan plants that will grow in her Vermont garden. Alighting from a plane in the dramatic Annapurna Valley, the ominous signs of Nepal's Maoist guerrillas are all around—an alarming presence that accompanies the travelers throughout their trek. Undaunted, the group sets off into the mountains with Sherpas and bearers, entering an exotic world of spectacular landscapes, vertiginous slopes, isolated villages, herds of yaks, and giant rhododendron, thirty feet tall. The landscape and flora and so much else of what Kincaid finds in the Himalaya—including fruit bats, colorful Buddhist prayer flags, and the hated leeches that plague much of the trip—are new to her, and she approaches it all with an acute sense of wonder and a deft eye for detail. In beautiful, introspective prose, Kincaid intertwines the harrowing Maoist encounters with exciting botanical discoveries, fascinating daily details, and lyrical musings on gardens, nature, home, and family. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars The worst book I've ever read.
I am a world traveller. I love learning about other cultures first hand as well as reading about them. This book has great reviews. Unfortunately the people writing the reviews must have received a kick back. This was by far the worst written book I've ever read. It was like the author was forced to put words on a page. She showed no interest in the people she encountered or her new surroundings. I'll never buy another book written by her again. It's a complete waste of money.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stumbling steps and style
I picked up this book for the captivatingly beautiful cover (mine was a hard cover with a misty photo of an old temple and two young lamas) and romantic title, but I am not sure if the writing lives up to it.

As I myself had been an inexperienced hiker on a difficult trek, I can understand how the harsh journey can bring out the unpleasant, frustrated and complaining self, and blind one to the surrounding, despite its beauty, but it does feel like the author whines too much (and pees a lot).The writing itself was at times clumsy too, as if mirroring her footsteps, which was a surprise coming from an acclaimed literary.

4-0 out of 5 stars Jamaica Kincaid is not a travel writer!
It seems apparent that some of the reviewers picked up this book with the misguided notion that they were going to read some wonderful account of their beloved Himalayas. Apparently you have no idea who Jamaica Kincaid is or what her writings are about, so if are upset because you have "been to the Himalayas and there are much better writings," it's because you've never read (or probably even heard about) "My Brother," "Lucy," or any other of her profound literary works. She is not a travel author, and although this work is set during her physical journey, it, like every other work of hers, is about the psychological, emotional, and social journeys we all make.

Anyone has the right to write a review, but please make sure you have some idea of the genre of the book before you start casting dispersions. Personally, I give this book a 4 only because I consider this work to be less introspective than her others. It's still more profound than 90% of the other writings out there, just not as emotionally revealing as, say, "Autobiography of My Mother." Her writing is, as always, lyrical, with the unique ability to paint an extraordinarily vivid picture of even the most banal scenes. I highly recommend it, but only if you are well aware that this is not a "travelogue."

1-0 out of 5 stars I gave up on this book after 40 pages...you will, too!
Stay away from this book! Jamaica Kincaid's book is filled with pseudo-philosophy and hollow observations towards life which reads artificial.As someone who has trekked the Himalaya, I can only surmise that Kincaid was on some shallow, self-absorbed trip of her own. Don't just take my word for it, read just one of her own passages (pages 27-28): "One group was from Austria but we decided to call them the Germans, because we didn't like them from the look of them, they were so professional-looking with all kinds of hiking gear, all meant to make the act of hiking easier, I think. But we didn't like them, and Germans seem to be the one group of people left that can not be liked just because you feel like it."She can't even be bothered to learn the name of one of the Sherpas who helped carry her provisions, and instead refers to him as "Table" since he was also responsible for setting up the table where her and the other hikers ate. Giving him this demeaning nickname as you would a dog gives you some idea as to the type of person Kincaid is. Save yourself a few bucks, there are far, far better books to read about the Himalayas.

4-0 out of 5 stars Himalayan Adventure
This is a lovely book which beautifully describes an extensive trek in a remote area of the Himalayas. Ms. Kincaid and her close friend, Dan Hinckley, a distinguised botanist, make the trip together.Dan Hinckley has traveled in the region extensively.It is the author's first Himalayan trek and she trains diligently to be prepared for its rigors. The author is a gifted writer who describes the feelings and emotions triggered by the beauty of the region and its warm and hospitable people.Ms. Kincaid's style is most engaging and includes wonderful description, humor, and great senstivity.The focus of the trek is the collection of seeds for propagating Himalayan plantlife in North America. The passion of the participants for gathering the seeds of rare species is engaging to gardeners and non-gardeners alike.All who have journeyed to this special part of the world, or intend to, will enjoy this charming book. ... Read more

9. Jamaica Kincaid: Writing Memory, Writing Back to the Mother
by J. Brooks Bouson
Paperback: 252 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791465241
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10. My Mother's Garden
by Penelope Hobhouse, Dominique Browning, Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 208 Pages (2005-03-29)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$4.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000GG4J6Y
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The beauty of a flower, and the beauty of a family.

A garden and a child-the similarities between the two can be striking. Both require time and patience. Both call for a very special person to look after their needs and to consider their futures. And both will blossom when tended with a mother's love. This heartwarming collection of essays and stories-from beloved classics and modern favorites, authored by writing gardeners and gardening writers alike-celebrates the role of a mother's love in helping her garden and her children grow. Featuring selections from previously published material by noted garden essayists, as well as compelling excerpts from novels and memoirs, this volume is a touching tribute to mothers everywhere, whose perennial gifts of attention and care allow those they love to truly bloom. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Anthology of Multiple Authors' Heartwarming Essays
This collection of essays, authored by an impressive group of writers, is a poignant tribute to mothers everywhere.An easy read, the book is not unlike a bag of literary potato chips -- you just can't stop with the first essay.I found myself totally immersed in one story after another, till the whole book was read.I laughed some, cried a little, and marveled at the pleasant memories of mothers and grandmothers these authors were willing to share with their readers.It was awesome! ... Read more

11. My Brother
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: 208 Pages (1998-11-09)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$1.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374525625
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Jamaica Kincaid's incantatory, poetic, and often shockingly frank recounting of her brother Devon Drew's life is also the story of her family on the island of Antigua, a constellation centered on the powerful, sometimes threatening figure of the writer's mother. Kincaid's unblinking record of a life that ed too early speaks volumes about the difficult truths at the heart of all families.
Amazon.com Review
Compassion only occasionally lightens the grim tone of JamaicaKincaid's searing account of her younger brother Devon's 1996 deathfrom AIDS. As in novels such as Annie John,Kincaid is ruthlessly honest about her ambivalence toward theimpoverished Caribbean nation from which she fled, her restrictivefamily, and the culture that imprisoned Devon. That honesty, whichincludes chilling detachment from her brother's suffering, issometimes alienating. But art has its own justifications. The bitterclarity of Kincaid's prose and the tangled, undeniably human feelingsit lucidly dissects are justification enough. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

3-0 out of 5 stars This book could have been a lot shorter
I was tired of reading the book by the time I finally got through it. It wasn't very long but it was quite challenging for me to finish reading it. The author repeats herself a lot! Which does make for an interesting writing style. It seemed like it was a poetry of sorts; but I gave up that idea after the first 25 pages or so. I am glad I did keep up reading it until I finished it, it just was wasn't that good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kincaid - is as usual -Great!
Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. She sucks you in with her unique structure of "run-on" sentences that truly illustrate her track of thought. Her writing is raw, with all the private details of her family exposed for all to see; She does not censor, anything. Her honesty is stunning, to the point you feel like you should censor some of the parts for her and her family as well as for your sake.

5-0 out of 5 stars alluring, seductive, and entertaining
I'd only ever read a short short story of Jamaica Kincaid's (that I wasn't too impressed by) before picking up this memoir. I enjoyed her memoir thoroughly. Wonderfully crafted and skillfully written, this rendition of her memories surrounding the life and death of her brother in Antigua, Jamaica, are emotionally moving, to say the least. I'm not giving much away by revealing that her brother dies of AIDS, something that is revealed in the first few pages, so I'm okay to say that this story of a sister and family's grappling with the immiment death manages to handle the AIDS story with beauty, poise, and compelling writing.

She highlights the stigma that surrounded anyone who contracted the disease. Were they a drug user? A philanderer? A homosexual? What kind of lifestyle does that person live that allowed them to contract such a deadly disease? Those are the questions people in Jamaica, and elsewhere, thought and asked themselves at the time, and even today. The sick were labelled, ostricized, deemed outcast, and refused help. A sad plight, indeed.

Simply put, Kincaid has a simple way with language that turns up on the page as alluring, seductive, and entertaining.

-- Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens

4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
I first read Jamaica Kincaid's work in "Talk Stories", and I loved it.

I discovered this book (My Brother) when reading the book "Writing as a Way of Healing" by Louise DeSalvo.I was curious about Jamaica's life and her writing style intrigued me.

Through her writing, Jamaica brings beauty to even the most difficult of life's experiences.She writes, "That sun, that sun.On the last day of our visit its rays seemed as pointed and unfriendly as an enemy's well-aimed spear."(p.73)

Her writing is honest and balanced between expressing the hard aspects and the kindness within her family life.This book is mostly about her brother dying of AIDS, a very difficult subject matter to read.I also enjoyed reading about how she became a writer, and what it means to her to be a writer.

This book also tells about life in Antigua, which I was especially interested in learning about.The next book I will read by Jamaica is "A Small Place", to learn more about life in Antigua.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Complicated Work
I'm still thinking through the issues raised in "My Brother" -- and I suspect that it will be one of those books which, though it feels a bit hollow as I read it, will turn out to haunt me in the future.Only time will tell.The most remarkable thing about it, I think, is the way that Kincaid refuses to valorize any of the characters she describes.The incredible ire towards her mother is the only emotion that feels puzzling, given the lack of context for it -- I kept waiting for a revelation there that never came.With this exception, however, Kincaid seems committed to presenting a balanced portrayal:she does not heroize the dead, nor does she portray herself as particularly wise or noble in the face of death.It is this commitment to a human, complex portrayal that makes the description unique.

I just want to add that I am only posting this to counteract what appears to be a long list of high school book reports that make up most of the "reviewing" on this page.... ... Read more

by Jamaica. Kincaid
 Paperback: Pages (1996)

Asin: B0041L4UNM
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (11)

1-0 out of 5 stars Haven't received
I ordered this book over a month ago and I need it for class. I cannot even give an accurate rating of it because I have not received it. I am thinking to ask for my money back.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock me, Jamaica
This is the most difficult, most pleasurable books I've read. From the first sentence, the first very, very, long sentence, Kincaid holds you in her arms and rocks you, forcing you to listen to the words and rhythms of Antigua.

More than prose, this is poetry. You must pay attention to every sentence, every word you will find yourself leafing back to that point where you can hear the echo and the words and feel the meaning--then you begin again.

If there is anything disappointing about the book it is the ending. All through the book I felt the power of the writer. Kincaid controls you, the reader, and controls the story with precise words, choice of scene and underwritten reactions. But, in the last few pages, I feel she could have "gone in for the kill" and kept that intimacy and vulnerability.

The story line can be read in other reviews, and if you haven't yet read Mr. Potter, I don't want to share the ending here. But, I will say that the innocent, vulnerable and intimate connection with "Mr. Potter" that the author has throughout the book is grayed in the last chapter.

I remember reading a one sentence short story by Kincaid---oh, I wish I could remember the title. It was a series of caveats and instructions from her mother of what a good girl would do. In it, she's sassy, young, and her voice wags. (I've got to find that short story and re-read it.)

To me, Jamaica Kincaid is a genius. She forces me to feel, smell, and taste Antigua. She rocks me in the lilt of the island. She forces me to read every word. It truly was the most pleasurable, difficult book I've read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
Jamaica Kincaid's writing talents had propelled her to staff writer at "The New Yorker" for years and then to teaching creative writing at Harvard. I have loved all of her books that I've read. "Mr. Potter" seems like a departure from her usual style with its mosaic of words, stream-of-consciousness, repetitiveness. Normally, I don't appreciate that type of writing but this I found to be mesmerizing. Not always entertainingbut poetic and brilliant. I loved it. I have so much respect for this woman as a writer.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dire
Kincaid's distinctive style feels flat in this book. The repetitions and revisitings are laboured and the feeling lingers that one is reading a submission from a freshman creative writing program, rather than a work from a talented writer (as her excellent essays reveal her to be). Too often the chance of achieving real affect is lost in favour of maintain the forced technicality of the writing. The attempt to capture a character who exists predominantly in absence is certainly interesting, but this is an unsuccessful novel and often painfully badly written.

2-0 out of 5 stars One of the few books I gave up reading mid-way
The story description on the back cover sounded intriguing (the untold story of a man of no importance in a poor Caribbean country), the book was on sale. I bought it. Then I read half through it, and finally gave up. I found the "creative style" of this short novel way too annoying not to give up after a short while. Everything is repeated once, twice, thrice, and then again after some pages. No one talks, writes or think this way. What do I mean? Here is an example:

"In Mr. Shoul's garage there were three cars and these cars all belonged to Mr. Shoul, but Mr. Shoul himself was not in the garage with his cars. Mr. Shoul was upstairs in his own house above the garage where the three cars were, and Mr. Shoul by then, that is by the time Mr. Potter arrived in the garage where there were the three cars, [...]"

And here is another:

"And that day, the sun was in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky, and it shone in its usual way so harshly bright, making even the shadows pale, making even the shadows seek shelter; that day the sun was in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky, but Mr. Potter did not note this, so accustomed was he to this, the sun in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky; if the sun had not been in its usual place, that would have made a great big change in Mr. Potter's day, it would have meant rain, however briefly such a thing, rain, might fall, but it would have changed Mr. Potter's day, so used was he to the sun in its usual place, way up above and in the middle of the sky."

So, if you like this sort of style, by all means do buy this book, but if you find it awkward and uninteresting as I did, be warned because the whole book is consistently written this way. ... Read more

13. Lucy
by Jamaica Kincaid
Mass Market Paperback: 190 Pages (2002-11-06)

Isbn: 2253153818
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14. Caribbean Genesis: Jamaica Kincaid and the Writing of New Worlds
by Jana Evans Braziel
Paperback: 237 Pages (2010-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$24.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0791476545
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Philosophical exploration of Jamaica Kincaid's entire literary oeuvre. ... Read more

15. Jamaica Kincaid: Where the Land Meets the Body,
by Moira Ferguson
 Hardcover: 206 Pages (1994-09-01)
list price: US$59.50 -- used & new: US$7.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813915198
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Editorial Review

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As a writer who has been quoted as saying she writes to save her life- that is she couldn't write, she would be a revolutionary- Antiguan novelist Jamaica Kincaid translates this passion into searing, exhilarating prose. Her weaving of history, autobiography, fiction, and polemic has won her a large readership. In this first book-length study of her work, Moira Ferguson examines all of Kincaid's writing up to 1992, focusing especially o their entwinement of personal and political identity. In doing so, she draws a parallel between the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship in Kincaid's fiction and the more political relationship of the colonizer and the colonized. Ferguson calls this effect the "doubled mother"- a conception of motherhood as both colonial and biological.

... Read more

16. Understanding Jamaica Kincaid (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)
by Justin D. Edwards
Hardcover: 159 Pages (2007-04-10)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$38.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570036888
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Editorial Review

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Understanding Jamaica Kincaid introduces readers to the prizewinning author best known for the novels Annie John, Lucy, and The Autobiography of My Mother. Justin D. Edwards surveys Jamaica Kincaid's life, career, and major works of fiction and nonfiction to identify and discuss her recurring interests in familial relations, Caribbean culture, and the aftermath of colonialism and exploitation. In addition to examining the haunting prose, rich detail, and personal insight that have brought Kincaid widespread praise, Edwards also identifies and analyzes the novelist's primary thematic concerns--the flow of power and the injustices faced by people undergoing social, economic, and political change.

Edwards chronicles Kincaid's childhood in Antigua, her development as a writer, and her early journalistic work as published in the New Yorker and other magazines. In separate chapters he provides critical appraisals of Kincaid's early novels; her works of nonfiction, including My Brother and A Small Place; and her more recent novels, including Mr. Potter. Edwards discusses the way in which Kincaid both exposes the problems of colonization and neocolonization and warns her readers about the dire consequences of inequality in the era of globalization. ... Read more

17. Talk Stories
by Jamaica Kincaid, Ian Frazier
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-01-09)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374527911
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From "The Talk of the Town," Jamaica Kincaid's first impressions of snobbish, mobbish New York

Talk Pieces is a collection of Jamaica Kincaid's original writing for the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town," composed during the time when she first came to the United States from Antigua, from 1978 to 1983.Kincaid found a unique voice, at once in sync with William Shawn's tone for the quintessential elite insider's magazine, and (though unsigned) all her own--wonderingly alive to the ironies and screwball details that characterized her adopted city.New York is a town that, in return, fast adopts those who embrace it, and in these early pieces Kincaid discovers many of its hilarious secrets and urban mannerisms.She meets Miss Jamaica, visiting from Kingston, and escorts the reader to the West Indian-American Day parade in Brooklyn; she sees Ed Koch don his "Cheshire-cat smile" and watches Tammy Wynette autograph a copy of Lattimore's Odyssey; she learns the worlds of publishing and partying, of fashion and popular music, and how to call a cauliflower a crudite.

The book also records Kincaid's development as a young writer--the newcomer who sensitively records her impressions here takes root to become one of our most respected authors.
Amazon.com Review
Restraint, it turns out, is a highly effective critical strategy. InTalk Stories, her collection of New Yorker "Talk of the Town"pieces dating from 1974 to 1983, Jamaica Kincaid writes prose as bare andbright as a light bulb. Her sentences are so clean that she seems to knowexactly what she's talking about. And that's what allows these morsels ofreportage to transcend their genre and become small, pointed, thrillingjudgments on the world.In "Romance," a piece on a conference of Harlequinromance writers, Kincaid writes, "The women, each of whom looked freshlycoiffed, sat at tables in the middle of which were large bowls of yellowand gold chrysanthemums. The women seemed very excited." There we havesubjectivity in the cool guise of objectivity. On the other hand, whenKincaid is for something, she comes right out and says it. Theoddity is where these hosannas land. A knitting shop in Connecticut, forexample, is "perhaps the nicest store in the world, because it is run andowned by perhaps one of the nicest women in the world--a woman namedBeatrice Morse Davenport."

In her introduction, Kincaid writes: "All sentences, all paragraphs aboutthis part of my life, my life as a writer, must begin with George Trow."The latter, who discovered Kincaid, wrote the kind of dry, cleveroccasional prose that flourished in the New Yorker in the 1970s and1980s. Kincaid's Trow-like writing is the weakest, most attention-hungry inthe book. "Party" is written in the style of a Nancy Drew mystery, "TwoBook Parties" is written as a quiz, and "Expense Account" is just that--anexpense account of a press breakfast, including the coy entry, "Cost ofclothes other reporters wore to press breakfast (too complicated to makeeven a wild guess)." These pieces too closely resemble her mentor'swork--clever but not actually, you know, funny. The structural fancinessseems cheap next to Kincaid's fine, goofily opinionated reporting. Still,after these wobbly forays into experimentation, she began to write thefiction that made her famous, so her fooling around seems to have paid offin the end. --Claire Dederer ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed!
This book is a collection of her earlier anonymous columns for 'The New Yorker.' They were written in 70's and early 80's, so the subjects are old. For instance, Sting (and the Police) and Boy George (and Culture Club) were gaining popularity in the book. But she already established her crisp and dynamic and music-like prose style. It's my pleasure to read her candid and sometimes sarcastic comments about snobs. It's my pleasure to read her stories about her native country, Antigua, and her parents. She wrote the stories as her friend's stories (remember that those were anonymous columns), but they were of her own prose style.

I read all of her books, and I don't like much her previous book, 'My Garden,' but I enjoyed 'Talk Stories.'

5-0 out of 5 stars The apprenticeship of a wonderful writer
Jamaica Kincaid describes, in her terrific Introduction, her beginnings as a writer in New York in the '70's. She made a few great friends, and one brought her to the attention of William Shawn, beloved and legendary editor of the 'New Yorker.' He invited to submit short pieces.That magazine, which Kincaid points out was "a magazine that has since gone out of business, though there exists now a magazine by that name," was her home for over ten years. Kincaid's brief acid note and comment introduces an unignorable subtext: there existed a deeply valued and memorable world, now gone.

These pieces were Kincaid's apprenticeship in writing. They are a pleasure to read.

All were unsigned (giving writers a freedom she valued) when they first appeared in the magazine. Here they are arranged chronologically. If you are new to Jamaica Kincaid's mind and writing, they are a great introduction. If you are familiar with her amazing novels (or gardening essays for that matter) they are fresh, many are very funny, and all are examples, in varying ways, of how to write.

Great book. ... Read more

18. Poetics of Place: Photographs by Lynn Geesaman
Hardcover: 78 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$150.00
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Asin: 0893818658
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The interplay between formal composition and the mutability of light haunts and colors the land Lynn Geesaman details in The Poetics of Place, her first book. She photographs landscapes that mankind has shaped over the centuries according to cherished ideas of what nature should be-natural places that have been reordered by industry. An eloquent Introduction by esteemed writer Jamaica Kincaid examines the history of the formal garden and offers a new perspective on the relationship of man to his environs.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get the book if you can't see her work in person
I have this book-got it at her exhibit a few years ago here in Chicago. Her photographic style is of a dreamlike quality, and while her exact method of producing her photos remains a secret, the results are breathtaking. If you can't get to one of her shows, then at least buy the book - it makes you want to escape to these lovely garden settings. One of the better scenic photographers I've seen in a while.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that you'll read many times, seeing something new in
Black & white images of gardens from around the world.Some gardens well know, some not, but all captured in a style only this photographer brings to the world.A book that deserves to be placed where everyone cansee and look through it.A book that you'll read many times, seeingsomething new in each photograph every time. ... Read more

19. Lucy. Roman.
by Jamaica Kincaid
Paperback: Pages (1994-01-01)

Isbn: 3596119731
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20. Cosmopolitan Fictions: Ethics, Politics, and Global Change in the Works of Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Ondaatje, Jamaica Kincaid, and J. M. Coetzee
by Katherine Stanton
Paperback: 106 Pages (2009-06-16)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$35.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415803403
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Participating in the reframing of literary studies, Cosmopolitan Fictions identifies, as cosmopolitan fiction, a genre of global literature that investigates the ethics and politics of complex and multiple belonging.

The fictions studied by Katherine Stanton represent and revise the global histories of the past and present, including the indigenous or native narratives that are, in Homi Bhabha's words, internal to national identity itself.

The works take as their subjects:

* European unification
* the human rights movement
* the AIDS epidemic
* the new South Africa.

And they test the infinite demands for justice against the shifting borders of the nation, rethinking habits of feeling, modes of belonging and practices of citizenship for the global future.

Scholars, teachers and students of global literary and cultural studies, Cosmopolitan Fictions is a book to want on your reading list.

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