Autobiography of My Mother

ISBN-10: 0374531870
ISBN-13: 9780374531874
Edition: 2013
Authors: Jamaica Kincaid
List price: $14.00 Buy it from $2.99
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Description: Powerful, disturbing, stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 5/7/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

Powerful, disturbing, stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to death the moment she is born and must find her way on her own.Kincaid takes us from Xuela’s childhood in a home where she could hear the song of the sea to the tin-roofed room where she lives as a schoolgirl in the house of Jack Labatte, who becomes her first lover. Xuela develops a passion for the stevedore Roland, who steals bolts of Irish linen for her from the ships he unloads, but she eventually marries an English doctor, Philip Bailey. Xuela’s is an intensely physical world, redolent of overripe fruit, gentian violet, sulfur, and rain on the road, and it seethes with her sorrow, her deep sympathy for those who share her history, her fear of her father, her desperate loneliness. But underlying all is “the black room of the world” that is Xuela’s barrenness and motherlessness.The Autobiography of My Motheris a story of love, fear, loss, and the forging of a character, an account of one woman’s inexorable evolution evoked in startling and magical poetry.

Jamaica Kincaid came to the United States in 1966 as a free-lance writer and is now on staff at the New Yorker. Her first volume of stories, At the Bottom of the River (1983), depicts men and women alienated from each other by conflict, physical separation, or death. The story "My Mother" vividly describes the painful separation between mother and daughter; and the stories in Annie John (1985) clearly reveal that the world of the past cannot be recaptured. Kincaid's poetic use of language and everyday images allows the reader to experience ordinary events with a new and heightened sensitivity. Kincaid is a relatively new writer whose works are beginning to receive critical attention.

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