Jamaica Kincaid

A Critical Companion

by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

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September 1999


Pages 200
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General
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    Hardcover: £40.00/44,00€/A$67.00

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.

Following a biographical chapter, Paravisini-Gebert traces the development of Kincaid's craft as a writer. Each of the novels and the collection of short stories is discussed in a separate chapter that includes sections on plot, character, theme, and an alternate critical approach from which to read the novel, such as feminist. A complete primary and secondary bibliography and lists of selected reviews of Kincaid's work complete the study.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword by Kathleen Gregory KleinThe Life of Jamaica KincaidFrom Elaine Potter Richardson to Jamaica KincaidAt the Bottom of the River (1983)Annie John (1985)Lucy (1990)The Autobiography of My Mother (1997)BibliographyIndex



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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