At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid

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Jamaica Kincaid's inspired, lyrical short stories

Reading Jamaica Kincaid is to plunge, gently, into another way of seeing both the physical world and its elusive inhabitants. Her voice is, by turns, naively whimsical and biblical in its assurance, and it speaks of what is partially remembered partly divined. The memories often concern a childhood in the Caribbean--family, manners, and landscape--as distilled and transformed by Kincaid's special style and vision.

Kincaid leads her readers to consider, as if for the first time, the powerful ties between mother and child; the beauty and destructiveness of nature; the gulf between the masculine and the feminine; the significance of familiar things--a house, a cup, a pen. Transfiguring our human form and our surroundings--shedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect place--these stories tell us something we didn't know, in a way we hadn't expected.


About Jamaica Kincaid

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Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John's, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and Mr. Potter, all published by FSG. She lives with her family in Vermont.
Published October 15, 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 100 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for At the Bottom of the River

Kirkus Reviews

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These ten short pieces, some of which have appeared in The New Yorker, suffer from being grouped together in book form here: there's a blurry monotony in Kincaid's prose-poem style (lists, litanies, fragments) and a limited range of imagery in her existential monologues.

Dec 05 1983 | Read Full Review of At the Bottom of the River (P...

Publishers Weekly

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According to PW , ``The voice--incantatory, lyric, rhapsodic--is closer to the condition of poetry and music than to fiction in any of its ordinary registers.'' (Jan.)

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Austin Chronicle

Originally released in 1983, At the Bottom of the River is a lyrical collection of some of Jamaica Kincaid's most provocative writing.

Jan 12 2001 | Read Full Review of At the Bottom of the River (P...

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