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The autobiography of my mother by Jamaica…
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The autobiography of my mother (1995)

by Jamaica Kincaid

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
i used to like kincaid but i think that was her non-fiction. this was boring- -very little happens. a lot about her sex life. ( )
  mahallett | Apr 11, 2018 |
Girl growing up in Dominica. relationship to family, particularly mother
  tobagotim | Sep 22, 2017 |
An amazing novel about a Caribbean woman growing up motherless and sent by her father to live with other families. Deep, intense meditation on race, gender and family ties. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
A somewhat longer and more complex work than the other book I just read by Kincaid, 'Annie John.' Similarly, though, it deals with fraught and complex emotional relationships. Or lack of relationships. The narrator here is a woman, Xuela, whose mother died in childbirth; and who lets that lack define who she is as as person.

Her father is a distant and venal man, and Xuela doesn't think much of him. By necessity, she is essentially on her own. However, as the book progresses, she seeks something(?) in others: the narrator has an affair with a much older man, marries a white man who cares deeply for her but whom she does not love, and falls in love with a married man to whom she is only one of many women.

Xuela strives to find an identity and a place for herself in the world, but through all her striving is a dark fatalism which undercuts her: what she describes as a 'bleak, black wind' at her back. This can be read as stemming from her family situation, her community, her gender, and the legacy of colonialism - but it's also simply and matter-of-factly portrayed as just the way this character is, without apologies or excuses.

Is this actually Kincaid's reconstruction of her mother's life, or is the title a reference to the looming absence of the narrator's mother? I'm not sure. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
The book made me uncomfortable in the sense that the main character was so sharp and exact about everything. This is a no holding back kind of story, where we learn every little detail because the person telling them just doesn't care what is personal and what is not. This book is all about "Woe-is-me, but I just don't care about it. I'm pushing on, and doing something else." That is a fine quality in a book, but the sharpness and unlikability of the narrator just grated on my nerves. Of course, it is supposed to do that, because that means the writing is well developed and the woman telling the story is genuine. I think you have to be able to handle that kind of sharp tongued, overly truthful, not a care in the world type of character in order to properly enjoy this book. If that type of personality makes you uncomfortable, you probably won't find it as pleasant a read. ( )
  mirrani | Jan 8, 2016 |
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My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole life there was nothing standing beween myself and eternity; at my back was always a bleak, black wind.
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This book is a work of fiction. If you have tagged it as a biography or non-fiction, please read the title page of your book where it states that this book is a work of fiction.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452274664, Paperback)

"My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole life there was nothing standing between myself and eternity," writes Jamaica Kincaid in this disturbing, compelling novel set on the island of Dominica. Born to a doomed Carib woman and a Scottish African policeman of increasing swagger and wealth, narrator Xuela spends a lifetime unanchored by family or love. She disdains the web of small and big lies that link others, allowing only pungent, earthy sensuality--a mix of blood and dirt and sex--to move her. Even answering its siren call, though, Xuela never loses sight of the sharp loss that launched her into the world and the doors through which she will take her leave.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A seventy-year-old West Indian woman looks back over the course of her life and examines the relationships that have given meaning to her existence

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