Jamaica Kincaid Archive

Big Picture, Small Picture: Context for Jamaica Kincaid’s AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER

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Jamaica Kincaid’s debut book, At the Bottom of the River, is published to immediate acclaim in December of 1983. The thin volume weaves surreal narratives of post-colonial island life, complicated female relationships, and the pervasive longing for self-actualization.

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Jamaica Kincaid and Bret Anthony Johnston

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Bret Anthony Johnston’s “Boy” is very much an homage as well as a companion piece to Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.” The ways in which Johnston chose to mirror Kincaid’s piece show us the gender, class, and race equivalencies. Both Kincaid and Johnston are most interested in gender and the lessons

Why Write Short Stories?

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Much like our lives, short stories are brief and end abruptly. They summon entire worlds in just a few pages and then bow out, with startling precision and compression. It is a delicate balance, and such delicate work requires small hands.

Writing Trauma: Notes of Transcendence, #4—The Situation and the Story

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Writing in second person point of view, I found power in a situation in which I’d felt powerless. I was no longer the victim but the witness...

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Jamaica Kincaid and John Keene (and Edgar Degas)

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Jamaica Kincaid's classic story "Girl," first published in the New Yorker in 1978, is a small gem, consisting of less than 700 perfectly chosen words. We can see the echoes of Kincaid in John Keene's story "Acrobatique" even though the story was not written intentionally to respond.

Hidden Idiom

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Around this time last year, Jamaica held its first Pride parade. The whole thing took place in the country’s capital. There’s a smog that settles over Kingston in the afternoon, like this funk that pedestrians and motorists and bike-riders can’t avoid.

The Books We Teach #4: Interview with Christine Schutt

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The Books We Teach series will feature primary, secondary, and post-secondary educators and their thoughts about literature in the face of an evolving classroom. Posts will highlight literary innovations in teaching, contemporary literature’s place in pedagogy, and the books that writers teach. In the spirit of educational dynamism, we