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Jamaica Kincaid [electronic resource] /
Diane Simmons.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1994.
155 p. ; 23 cm.
0805739947 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1994.
0805739947 (alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 149-151) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-04:
Jamaica Kincaid's important literary career is examined by Simmons in this study of the US-Caribbean writer from her birth as Elaine Potter Richardson in Antigua in 1949 to her most recent essays in the New Yorker. Simmons's critical focus is on Kincaid's theme of loss and betrayal in two related registers, that of mother-daughter relationships and that of colonial domination. Pointing out that Kincaid has herself eschewed description as either a "black" writer or a "feminist" author, Simmons nonetheless traces the relevance of Kincaid's own autobiography and education in the Caribbean and the United States to her writing, both fictional and nonfictional. One chapter on style identifies the incantatory, ritual aspects of Kincaid's use of rhythmic repetition in her sentences and paragraphs. Another on literary influence emphasizes the importance of Milton's Paradise Lost and Bronte's Jane Eyre to Kincaid's oeuvre. The last four chapters concentrate on Kincaid's four published books: the collection of stories, At the Bottom of the River (1983), the two novels, Annie John (1985) and Lucy (1990), and finally the extended essay, A Small Place (1988), on "postcolonial Antigua." Recommended for university and college libraries. B. Harlow; University of Texas at Austin
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1995
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Main Description
Twayne's United States Authors, English Authors, and World Authors Series present 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. Each volume features: -- A critical, interpretive study and explication of the author's works -- A brief biography of the author -- An accessible chronology outlining the life, the work, and relevant historical context -- Aids for further study: complete notes and references, a selected annotated bibliography and an index -- A readable style presented in a manageable length
Unpaid Annotation
In Jamaica Kincaid, author Diane Simmons provides a thoroughly comprehensive study, a biographical and critical examination of Kincaid and her work. Simmons considers all aspects of Kincaid's work without seeking to confine a complex, independent, and ever-evolving writer within narrow definitions. The first chapter, an elaborate biography, follows Kincaid through her childhood on the West Indian island of Antigua, her young adulthood as an au pair in New York, and her life as a free lancer for Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, and as a staff writer for The New Yorker. Simmons shows the remarkable process of self-invention by which an impoverished and awkward West Indian school girl named Elaine Potter Richardson was transformed into the prominent writer Jamaica Kincaid. Drawing from virtually all available critical work on Kincaid, including Simmons's own interview, the first chapter alone is richly detailed enough to stand as the most complete study yet on Kincaid and her writing.
Table of Contents
A Paradise Lostp. 1
Mother Mysteryp. 23
Conjure Womanp. 34
Rhythm and Repetition: Kincaid's Incantatory Listsp. 47
Kincaid and the Canon: In Dialogue with Paradise Lost and Jane Eyrep. 57
At the Bottom of the River: Journey of Mourningp. 73
Annie John: Coming of Age in the West Indiesp. 101
Lucy: In the New Worldp. 120
A Small Place: Masters and Slavesp. 135
Notes and Referencesp. 143
Selected Bibliographyp. 149
Indexp. 153
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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