A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

a small placeKincaid’s A Small Place is a portrait of her home country of Antigua, touching on colonialism, tourism, and history both large-scale and personal.  She begins by writing in the second person, describing what you, the tourist, will experience on your first visit to Antigua, from the reckless taxi drivers to the run-down school buildings.  Soon Kincaid’s voice flows smoothly into her own narration, giving glimpses of her childhood under British rule and the new reality of post-colonial government and corruption.

“It is as if, then, the beauty — the beauty of the sea, the land, the air, the trees, the market, the people, the sounds they make — were a prison, and as if everything and everybody inside it were locked in and everything and everybody that is not inside it were locked out.  And what might it do to ordinary people to live in this way every day?”

Jamaica Kincaid is an essayist, novelist, and gardening writer.  She has written for The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and The Paris Review.  Her works include A Small Place, Lucy, At the Bottom of the River, and Annie John.

Published:  1988
Length:  96 pages
Set in:  Antigua



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