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Best American Travel Writing 2005
Jason Wilson (Editor)
061836952X
October 2005
Paperback
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From Booklist
Great travel writing feeds our hunger for armchair journeys while somehow making the armchair less comfortable. Series editor Wilson searched for the rare pieces that weren't "aggressively positive"; Kincaid chose finalists that she says "underline my sense of my displacement." True enough, whether discussing suburban Florida or the bullet-riddled border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, these essays and articles show us the overlooked and never-seen with curiosity, insight, engagement, and humility; none of these writers brags about being at home in the world. Standouts are many: in "Into the Land of bin Laden," Robert Young Pelton finds a soldier who says, "I have no idea who we are fighting"; in "Tight-Assed River," John McPhee sails with the men who pilot aircraft carrier-length barges down Illinois' narrow waterways;...


Colonialism and Gender from Mary Wollstonecraft to Jamaica Kincaid
Moira Ferguson
0231082231
Oct 1994
Paperback
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Annie John
Jamaica Kincaid
0374525102
June 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
Jamaica Kincaid beautifully delineates hatred and fear, because she knows they are often a step away from love and obsession. At the start of Annie John, her 10-year-old heroine is engulfed in family happiness and safety. Though Annie loves her father, she is all eyes for her mother. When she is almost 12, however, the idyll ends and she falls into deep disfavor. This inexplicable loss mars both lives, as each grows adept at public falsity and silent betrayal. The pattern is set, and extended: "And now I started a new series of betrayals of people and things I would have sworn only minutes before to die for." In front of Annie's father and the world, "We were politeness and kindness and love and laughter." Alone they are linked in loathing. Annie tries to imagine herself as someone in a book--an orphan or...


Small Place
Jamaica Kincaid
0374527075
April 2000
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Kincaid here examines the geography and history of Antigua, where she was raised. We first see the island through the eyes of the typical North American tourist, who aims to exchange his or her own "everydayness" for that of someone without the same privilege. But rather than interpret Antiguan experience for outsiders, Kincaid lays bare the limits of her own understanding. She asks us to grasp the crime of empire in a new way, stressing that it can be understood only from a post-colonial point of view: surveying 20 years of a corrupt "free" government, she finds the inheritance of colonialism to be a commercial and governmental enterprise that serves individual interests. Antiguans, she effectively demonstrates, are ordinary people saddled with an unthinkable but unbreachable past. Mollie Brodsky, Rutgers Univ.,...


Jamaica Kincaid
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
0313302952
Sept 1999
Hardcover
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Choice
"Highly recommended for academic and public libraries."

Review
“In this crafted, detailed biocritical study, Paravisini-Gebert traces Kincaid's literary development, from her British-dominated schooling in Antigua to her astonishing career as a freelance writer for various journals and magazines.... Caribbean scholars will be particularly interested in Paravisini-Gebert's critical observations on the influence of Obeah, an African-based religious system prevalent among Antigua's black population.... Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.”–Choice

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Jamaica Kincaid, Vol. 646
Diane Simmons
0805739947
September 1994
Hardcover
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Book Description
Twayne's United States Authors Series presents concise critical introductions to great writers and their works. Devoted to critical interpretation and discussion of an author's work, each study takes account of major literary trends and important scholarly contributions and provides new critical insights with an original point of view. An Authors Series volume addresses readers ranging from advanced high school students to university professors. The book suggests to the informed reader new ways of considering a writer's work. A reader new to the work under examination will, after reading the Authors Series, be compelled to turn to the originals, bringing to the reading a basic knowledge and fresh critical perspectives. Each volume features: A critical, interpretive study and explication of the author's works A...


Mr. Potter
Jamaica Kincaid
0374214948
May 2002
Hardcover
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Book Review
The refrain of Jamaica Kincaid's clear-sighted, poetic novel Mr. Potter is that reading and writing are incomparable prizes: it is literacy that separates us--not without pain--from the natural world. Kincaid's title character, a chauffeur, spends his life in the bright, unchanging sun of Antigua. Each day his father fruitlessly lowers his fishing pots and his net into the waters of the surrounding ocean, finally cursing God for his bad luck. These are ordinary men, as trapped and elevated by circumstance as any of us, except that without the split in consciousness that reading gives, they cannot see any context for what happens to them. Only the writer--and in this case the narrator, Mr. Potter's grown daughter, a true lover of words--can provide context for such characters, dipping back into history, stepping close to read...


Gone to New York: Adventures in the Big City
Ian Frazier
0374281637
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Frazier (Great Plains) chronicles his relationship with New York City in this collection of essays from the New Yorker, the Atlantic and elsewhere. Kincaid's foreword celebrates her friend's identification with Ohio, but despite the formative importance of his hometown and state, Frazier clearly develops a particular, fond attachment to all the places he comes to know. His essays pile up sensory detail, personalities, stories and history, creating a patina of personal meaning. Whether it's Canal Street in a grittier time, the bus route he takes to his current home in New Jersey or the roundabout way he made it to New York in the first place, Frazier creates a sense of place and of the way people interact with it: a memorial grows up and disintegrates at the site of a fatal shooting; a repairman embodies the...


My Favorite Plant
Jamaica Kincaid
0374281939
Oct 1998
Hardcover
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Book Review
This anthology edited by novelist Jamaica Kincaid is a fascinatingly quirky compilation of writings about plants by the people who love them. Some are exceedingly practical--Ken Druse's essay "Desire Under the Jacks" gives you all the information you need to grow Arisaema triphyllum from seed--while others are more lyrical, such as Colette's writings on lilies and hellebores, and the poetry scattered among the essays.

Like a magazine, there are pages you may skip over because you find the subject or style doesn't appeal to you, only to find yourself riveted by the next piece of writing, which awakens in you a lust to own a plant, the existence of which you were unaware of a few minutes earlier. The very best writing opens your eyes to something new: an experience, an object, a place, or in this instance, a plant. Every...



Lucy
Jamaica Kincaid
0374527350
September 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Lucy, a teenager from the West Indies who has renounced her family and past, comes to America to work as an au pair and detachedly observes the deterioration of her employers' marriage. "This is a slim book but Kincaid has crafted it with a spare elegance that has brilliance in its very simplicity," said PW. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal
Like her Annie John ( LJ 4/1/85), Kincaid's new heroine travels the coming-of-age road. Lucy, a 19-year-old West Indi an, sheds her cloistered colonial upbringing by accepting a job as an au pair in New York--the perfect setting for satisfying her gluttonous appetite for both mental and sensual stimulation. The startling disintegration of her...


My Brother
Jamaica Kincaid
0374525625
November 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
Compassion only occasionally lightens the grim tone of Jamaica Kincaid's searing account of her younger brother Devon's 1996 death from AIDS. As in novels such as Annie John, Kincaid is ruthlessly honest about her ambivalence toward the impoverished Caribbean nation from which she fled, her restrictive family, and the culture that imprisoned Devon. That honesty, which includes chilling detachment from her brother's suffering, is sometimes alienating. But art has its own justifications. The bitter clarity of Kincaid's prose and the tangled, undeniably human feelings it lucidly dissects are justification enough. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
Reading novelist Kincaid's prose is like learning all over again why one writes: to sift...


Making Homes in the West/Indies: Constructions of Subjectivity in the Writings of Michelle Cliff and Jamaica Kincaid
Antonia Macdonald-Smythe
0815340370
February 2001
Hardcover
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Book Description
This study focuses on the ways in which two of the most prominent Caribbean women writers residing in the United States, Michelle Cliff and Jamaica Kincaid, have made themselves at home within Caribbean poetics, even as their migration to the United States affords them participation and acceptance within its literary space. Availing themselves of the strategies of writing available from both traditions, Cliff and Kincaid are using their writings to theorize subjectivity within migratory and cross-cultural contexts. This book demonstrates that the patterns of convergent, yet multiply located subjectivity that both writer arrive at differ in scope and influence, contoured as they are by the peculiar intersections of race, class, and sexuality. Making Homes in the West/Indies is the first full-length study to mount a...


At the Bottom of the River
Jamaica Kincaid
0374527342
Oct 2000
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Kincaid's first collection focuses on a nameless, blossoming Caribbean girl. According to PW , "The voice--incantatory, lyric, rhapsodic--is closer to the condition of poetry and music than to fiction in any of its ordinary registers." Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Derek Walcott
"... will hum on your shelf... choked with love to incite envy, too humble for admiration, and ... startling to escape astonishment."

See all Editorial Reviews


Autobiography of My Mother
Jamaica Kincaid
0452274664
January 1997
Paperback
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Book 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.

From Publishers Weekly
Kincaid's third novel (after Annie John) is presented as the...


The Norton Anthology of African American Literature
Jr. Gates
0393977781
December 2003
Textbook Paperback
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Book Review
A whopping 2,665 pages, The Norton Anthology of African American Literature was 10 years in the making, and it proves to have been well worth the wait. Beginning with vernacular forms such as the spirituals and the blues, it encompasses the whole history of black writing from the poems of Phillis Wheatley to the work of contemporary writers such as Terri McMillan, Toni Morrison, and Charles Johnson. Each section includes an introductory essay, and there is a brief biographical essay for each writer. The anthology includes an audio CD containing recorded examples of many of the songs and speeches. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
Collaborating on The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, editors Henry...

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