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Antigua-born writer Jamaica Kincaid offers a good introduction to the islands. She is a provocative writer who offers a view of the island that defies the exclusive tranquil picture of lush vegetation, beautiful beaches lulled by perfect blue, colorful settings and reveals a complex country that though tranquil hides conflict, silent although extroverted, plentiful of history in spite of its apparent immobile character.
Autobiography of My Mother, the book that gained Kincaid her literary fame, can be described as a treaty about Antigua’s identity as it follows a woman who tries to create a personal picture of her mother who died when she was born. Through the telling of her own life (hard, brutal, fascinating), the protagonist, who is Kincaid herself, explores the contradictions of her family and her country. The novel, as a good American movie, is filled with twits and great drama making it a revealing and unforgettable reading.
Other books by Kincaid, now a Harvard professor, also deal with issues of identity as she explores the multicultural cultural interaction of natives and Europeans, the consequential ethnic and racial blendings and how they manifest today.
A Small Place ( amore historical and political essay book) , My Brother, Mr. Potter (where an ordinary craftsman from Antigua gets his complex life revealed by one of his illegitimate daughters who happens to be a writer), My Garden (where she compares gardening techniques and concepts in Vermont and Antigua), will get the reader into Kincaid and Antigua’s fascinating old-new world.