See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
A Novel

67%

6 Critic Reviews

This isn’t Kincaid’s most accessible work, but it does distill divorce into compartmentalized, easily identifiable pain.
-AV Club

Synopsis

In See Now Then, the brilliant and evocative new novel from Jamaica Kincaid—her first in ten years—a marriage is revealed in all its joys and agonies. This piercing examination of the manifold ways in which the passing of time operates on the human consciousness unfolds gracefully, and Kincaid inhabits each of her characters—a mother, a father, and their two children, living in a small village in New England—as they move, in their own minds, between the present, the past, and the future: for, as she writes, "the present will be now then and the past is now then and the future will be a now then." Her characters, constrained by the world, despair in their domestic situations. But their minds wander, trying to make linear sense of what is, in fact, nonlinear. See Now Then is Kincaid's attempt to make clear what is unclear, and to make unclear what we assumed was clear: that is, the beginning, the middle, and the end.
Since the publication of her first short-story collection, At the Bottom of the River, which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Kincaid has demonstrated a unique talent for seeing beyond and through the surface of things. In See Now Then, she envelops the reader in a world that is both familiar and startling—creating her most emotionally and thematically daring work yet.

 

About Jamaica Kincaid

See more books from this Author
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 February 5, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 191 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for See Now Then
All: 6 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Fernanda Eberstadt on Feb 22 2013

“See Now Then” is not an easy book to stomach. Readers may balk...

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Feb 12 2013

This bipolar novel is half séance, half ambush. “See Now Then” is the kind of lumpy exorcism that many writers would have composed and then allowed to remain unpublished.

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on Feb 05 2013

...a lyrical, interior meditation on time and memory by a devoted but no longer cherished wife...

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Mar 18 2013

This isn’t Kincaid’s most accessible work, but it does distill divorce into compartmentalized, easily identifiable pain.

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from AV Club

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Donna Bailey Nurse on Feb 08 2013

Kincaid is one of a handful of essential writers. Why? Because she is a true original...

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Donna Bailey Nurse on Feb 08 2013

Kincaid is one of a handful of essential writers. Why? Because she is a true original; because she makes language feel fresh and reading feel new; because beneath her porcupine exterior lies a world of compassion...

Read Full Review of See Now Then: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for See Now Then
48%

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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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