Writing Memory, Writing Back to the Mother
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title and Copyright Pages
Download PDF (41.4 KB)
Download PDF (29.0 KB)
1. Introduction: âWhen You Think of Me, Think of My Lifeâ
Download PDF (75.1 KB)
In the eyes of her many interviewers, Jamaica Kincaid is an unusual and forceful individual: she is described as a woman with a âdramaticâ look and as a âtall, striking, clear-eyedâ woman who turns heads and âprojects a natural authority that attracts attentionâ (Garis, Garner). ...
PART I: In the Shadow of the Mother
2. âI Had Embarked on Something Called Self-Inventionâ: Artistic Beginnings in "Antigua Crossings" and At the Bottom of the River
Download PDF (79.2 KB)
âI was born in 1949. My twenty-sixth birthday was the birthday when I felt old and used upâI had left home when I was sixteen, and ten years in a young life is a long time,â Kincaid comments as she remembers her early days as a writer in New York City (âPutting Myself...
3. âThe Way I Became a Writer Was That My Mother Wrote My Life for Me and Told It to Meâ: Living in the Shadow of the Mother in Annie John
Download PDF (110.6 KB)
âI always say itâs completely autobiographical, including the punctuation,â Kincaid has remarked of her 1985 coming-of-age novel, Annie John (Muirhead 45). âThe point wasnât the truth and yet the point was the truth,â she insists, describing Annie John as, at once, a fictional...
4. âAs I Looked at This Sentence a Great Wave of Shame Came over Me and I Wept and Weptâ: The Art of Memory, Anger, and Despair in Lucy
Download PDF (91.5 KB)
âMy mother . . . was a betrayer of her sex,â Kincaid remarks as she draws a connection between the mother character in her 1990 novel Lucy and her own mother, Annie Drew (Listfield). In Lucy, a novel Kincaid says is filled with âthick female stuff,â she wants to be âvery frank,â ...
PART II: A Very Personal Politics
5. âImagine the Bitterness and the Shame in Me as I Tell You Thisâ: The Political Is Personal in A Small Place and "On Seeing England for the First Time"
Download PDF (90.1 KB)
âApparently, Iâm a very angry person. . . . I hope I never lose it,â Kincaid remarks. âIf I ever find myself not getting angry, . . . Iâll go to a psychiatrist to regain my angerâ (Mendelsohn). In writings that openly engage political issues, Kincaid famously vents her anger not only at the...
PART III: Family Portraits
6. âI Would Bear Children, but I Would Never Bea Mother to Themâ: Writing Back to the Contemptuous Mother in The Autobiography of My Mother
Download PDF (103.8 KB)
An unremittingly bleak and bitter novel permeated with feelings of despair, contempt, and rage, Kincaidâs 1996 novel The Autobiography of My Mother is at once a continuation of and a departure from her autobiographical-fictional project, her attempt to use fiction to write herself...
7. âI Shall Never Forget Him Because His Life Is the One I Did Not Haveâ: Remembering Her Brother's Failed Life in My Brother
Download PDF (90.8 KB)
âThis might have been me, dying young,â Kincaid remarks of the death of her youngest brother, Devon Drew, who died of AIDS in Antigua at the age of thirty-three in January 1996. âI felt instinctively that of all the lives I might have had, this might have been meâ (Mehren). ...
8. âLike Him and His Own Father before Him, I Have a Line Drawn through Meâ: Imagining the Life of the Absent Father in Mr. Potter
Download PDF (74.8 KB)
âHow do I write? Why do I write? What do I write? This is what I am writing: I am writing âMr. Potter.â It begins in this way; this is its first sentence: âMr. Potter was my father, my fatherâs name was Mr. Potter.â So much went into that one sentence; much happened before I settled on...
9. Conclusion: âI Am Writing for Solaceâ: Seeking Solace in Writing, Gardening, and Domestic Life
Download PDF (61.7 KB)
Kincaid, who began her writing career âembarked on something called self-invention,â continues to find the act of writing a highly personal act: âan expression of personal growthâ (âPuttingâ 100, Ferguson, âInterviewâ 169). ...
Download PDF (118.3 KB)
Download PDF (64.1 KB)
Index [Includes Back Cover]
Download PDF (109.0 KB)
Page Count: 252
Publication Year: 2005