My Brother
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My Brother

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  690 ratings  ·  75 reviews
My Brother Jamaica Kincaid's incantatory, poetic, and often shockingly frank recounting of her brother's life and death is also the story of her family on the island of Antigua. "Visceral and wrenching, this is a memoir of mourning . . . Kincaid's revelations are both intoxicating and redeeming".--Renee Graham, "The Boston Sunday Globe". Full description
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Published May 28th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Eric
(Sigh), compared to the fiction I've read by her, I think this book got a lot of praise because she was established already with two good books, and maybe, because its something readers could feel sympathetic towards. For me, I was into it at first, and then thought that even its 198 pages in big type dragged on too long. I still don't know her brother because she doesn't, she doesn't care--me neither, and I don't know the mother because she only chooses to speak about her when she pleases. I fe...more
Jamie
My first foray into Kincaid's wide body of work, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Basically analyzes her, let's say, "complicated" relation with her family - her cruel mother, her feuding brothers, and in particular, her wild and horn-dog-y brother who, during the span covered by the memoir, is diagnosed with AIDS, undergoes a respite from death's door with the help of anti-retrovirals, and then dies from the disease's complications.

A number of cultural factors lend the book some greater we...more
Marc Manley
To me, Jamaica Kincaid is a contrived. Her whole identity is duplicious and incoherent. I also find her to be a cultural elitist that attempts to pass herself off as the victim of Antigua in general, and her mother in specific. In the end, her brother's death is not about him, but is about her. In fact, the entire book is one long prattle about herself mumbling, "me, me, me". I fail to see her attraction, at least in this volume, as her writing style is far from engaging; more akin to nails on a...more
Chris
Really honest memoir about her family and specifically her brother (closeted) dying of AIDS in the mid-'90s. It's rare to read about someone saying, repeatedly, that they hate their mother and don't really love their brother who is dying, but she makes it work. Not everyone has to be lovable to have a memoir written about them.
Michael Strode
I was curious when she finished the first section of the text and her brother had finally died what she could possibly conceive to round out the remainder of the pages. I thought to myself "what more is there to tell". This title was engaging, insightful, and reflective upon the interactions that occur between parents, children, and siblings in the course of coming of age into our vast adulthood.

This might have just as easily been about my relationship with either of my brothers Tony or Rahsaan...more
Thomas
“What to make of it [death]? Why can’t everybody just get used to it? People are born and they just can’t go on and on…but it is so hard, so hard for the people left behind; it’s so hard to see them go, as if it had never happened before, and so hard it could not happen to anyone else, no one but you could survive this kind of loss, seeing someone go, seeing them leave you behind…”

My Brother is Jamaica Kincaid’s retelling of time spent both before and after the loss of her brother to HIV. At the...more
Irene
The authors brother is dying of AIDS and she travels back to Antigua to see him.


"It was my mother who told me my two grown brothers did not get along and she gave me an example of their disagreement. The brother living in the room made of old galvanize is an electrician and he has many valuable tools, which he kept in his room; at the height of my sick brothers drug addiction, he would go into his brothers' room and remove tools, which he would then sell. My brother, the electrician, after warni...more
Buchdoktor
Jamaica Kincaids Bruder ist 13 Jahre jünger als sie, der Vater der jüngeren Geschwister ist nicht Kincaids Vater. Nachdem die jüngeren Geschwister geboren wurden, stellte sich heraus, dass Vater und Mutter die Familie nicht ernähren konnten und von der 15-jährigen Tochter erwarten, sich um den Haushalt und die kleinen Geschwister zu kümmern. Der Konflikt zwischen der Mutter und der lernbegierigen älteren Tochter eskaliert darin, dass Kincaids Mutter die Tochter von der Schule abmeldet und ihre B...more
Jim
Kincaid is a celebrated and respected author, but this was a hard, painful book to read, as if it were meant to be difficult and disturbing, sad and brittle. Although directly focused on the death of her littlest brother from HIV/AIDS, it is really an introspective into her own relationship with her mother (and the family) and Antiguan society. So much of this essay set me on edge: I cannot imagine the combatitive and angry struggle between mother and daughter. Her mother is portrayed as a devil...more
Elizabeth Schurman
I had not read much by Kincaid, but this book is amazing, and I felt suddenly that we were cut from the same cloth, although we have almost nothing in common, including, thankfully, how her brother is, how she feels about him, and what happened to him. It's such a strong book, though, I admire it a great deal.
Alba Sternberg
Jamaica Kincaid, is a very descriptive writer. She had wrote a very interesting non-fiction book like the story "My Brother. It reflects important aspects about the author like temperament,childhood, family,friends, etc.kincaid is a thoughtful memories about her youngest brother Devon's AIDS and her relation with his death. Remembering her role in the final years of his life, the author examines the nature of love, family ties, sacrificies and death. She left her home at the age of 16,when her b...more
John

i wouldlike to tell about this book for me is a interesting book a little hard to read due to the repetitive words but eassy vocabulary and interesting theme like is the HIV disease this story tell us about life in a small island antigua and jamaica kincaid brothers he got abuse drugs and he had many sexual partners also we can say he got a messy,irresponsable life that's why he got contagious of the terrible disease like is the HIV ,She blame her mother even tough we can see how her mother help...more
Sue
I bought this book from a public library book sale in Charlottesville, VA while visiting my daughter who is at UVA. Another writer has penned a memoir about loss, this time about a brother who died of AIDS in Antigua, her home country, on January 19, 1996. At the time, she was an established author, wife and mother, living in Vermont. This memoir is convoluted and somewhat confusing as it chronicles a complicated grief. She has a very angry, hateful and unresolved relationship with her mother wh...more
Tracy
Nov 27, 2007 Tracy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Jamaica Kincaid's writing style challenges perceived notions about form/structure, grammatical acceptance. She repeats herself, her ideas jumble as she describes the complex relationship she has with her family in the time around her brother's death from AIDS. It is a painful memoir, and like any good literature will have you thinking about your own experiences, circumstances, like, etc.

I like just about everything my Jamica Kincaid, but her most accessible books are Annie John and Lucy - excell...more
upen
she is talking about her relationship with her mother. she is also talking about her brother. She is saying how her brother became victim of HIV.Kincaid only showed the problems but she didn't talk about the solution of problem. Yes she is describing about the poor people's reality and problem which is really good to read. Specially she says people need to wait for long to get treatment in hospital and there wasn't enough medicine that grab my attention,
She blamed her mother for every wrong bu...more
Nina
I'm a new fan of Jamaican Kincaid. I love her style of writing but about 3/4th of the way through this book, I grew tired of the multiple directions she was taking the story in (she uses long bracketed lines to share stories within stories).
Overall, I appreciated the book. For the first time, I got an image of Jamaica Kincaid that showed far more nuance than the image of Kincaid I'd been piecing together from her previous works that I've read (A Small Place and An Autobiography of My Mother) and...more
Rosina.almonte
To read this book,was a excited experience for me because I could learn interesting things such as what kind of life could lead a human to contract the desease about HIV virus.For example Kinkaid'brother had a promiscuous life,he had different patners,he used drugs etc and it was the reason why contract this desease.Another thing that grabbed my attention in this book was how their mother interacted with his children and how she felt about them.Sometimes Kinkaid referred her,such a good mother,h...more
Carol
I have always been a fan of Jamaica Kincaid's writing since reading Annie John many years ago. I found this book in the MHS library when I was looking for something to read at lunch time. She is a powerful writer. Her attitude toward her family, especially her mother is a little hard to read coming from a very close family. The story of her brother is sad. Experiencing a death due to the AIDS virus is very painful and she makes it very clear what that experience was for her brother. If you haven...more
Jenny
This is an extended poem, staccato and repetitive. It brings together the strands of Kincaid’s brother’s life and death. The syntax seems awkward at first, but it grows on you, and it ends up as hypnotic as a chant. Writing this review, I find myself unconsciously imitated the rhythm of the book, its loops and pauses.

This is about observing death, and about dipping into old family nightmares while maintaining a sense of separation. Kincaid remains on the edge, puzzling about this death that’s s...more
Elizabeth
This is a beautifully written little book about relationships--about life and death--about memory. It's about life. It is as evocative for what it says about families as for what it doesn't say. Jamaica writes about situations that exist without saying why they exist--why do her children hate Jamaica Kincaid's mother. What is it she does when she does it? Why does she do it? And yet, what is more important is that Jamaica is there for her brother--trying to understand him and their relationship...more
Ivan
I have started to read this book, and I confess that I was initially bored because the title doesn't look attractive to me. But when I took "my" book and turn open in a random page something magic touched me. "ooh my gooood, I was falling in the story and suddenly I was feeling inside of me like if soul wake up and keeping me reading"

I finally finished reading the book, and I think it's a good idea to recommend this book to parents and teens because this book has much valuable information for...more
Melissa
I like the fact that this book was honest. She is very blunt about her feelings for her brother and about her family.

I have a love/hate relationship with her style of writing because she feels the need to repeat herself. I can't take that. I read her sparely but I read her because she I like her subject matters and eventually I end up liking her books. I like the fact that she writes as though she is talking to me in a conversation. It's not overly done or falsely emotionally. She gives good det...more
Llucy


The story goes: "I hate my mom. I hate my mom. I hate my mom. Oh yeah, my brother (whom I didn't really know much about) died of AIDS. By the way, did I mention I hate my mom?"

Blah, blah, blah.

Repetitive and Aimless. I read 125 pages and the same information was reiterated constantly. But what else should I have expected when within the first 20 pages Kincaid actually admits to not really knowing or having a relationship with her brother. (Smacks forehead).
Marcie
I didn't quite finish this one. The style/ structure of the writing became a distraction and very irritating. The emotion she brings to her story, or the lack there of, is at times powerful. This is a story of a fractured family as much as it is the story of her brother's life, and eventual death from Aids, however, after getting 2/3 through the book ( with a struggle) I just couldn't read anymore. The book jacket describes her writing as poetic, I beg to differ.
George King
Very interesting read. A lot to think about regarding family relationships andwhatthey mean.
Lizziepeps
Very sad book, but the writing was horrible. Although the book is supposed to be about her brother who is dying of aids, she makes it all about her. I do not like her writing style nor her character. Honest? I'll give her---that but to say that you don't love your brother nor care about him while he is dying...does she expect readers to applaud her? I would never have read this book if I didn't need to for my Women and Literature class.
Michael Bacon
Interesting and well-written for about the first 1/4th of the book. Most of the rest of this memoir is fairly redundant. Even the prose is constituted of repetitive patterns by the end of the text, which is a stylistic choice, but a poor one.

Before that point though, the book is intriguing and holds much cultural interest. Kincaid has a lot to say about herself and her familial relationships, particularly with her mother.
mai
it wasn't until the 160th page that i really started to like this book.

then it was by the 160th page, that i realized this was brutal honesty from a woman who is not afraid to sit face to face with guilt and blame, with selfishness, in a way that challenged me to destroy judgment and just listen. and that is something i just have to admire.

jamaica kincaid doesn't give a shit about what you think.
Gloria Beltran
My brother is about the life of the author's brother. A man with a great future in his life, if he had had careful of himself. He could become a famuos singer, get a career, and to be a good husband and father. Nathing of this he had achieved because of his disordely life, instead of that he got HIV virus and become sick. His days ended lying on a bed very sick, poor and dependenting of his mother.
Carolina
jamaica kincaid in this book talks about her brother and how a disease ended with his life. she is very clear and direct and often very descriptive. she shows how was her relationship with her mother and her brothers, it is interesting in the way that she writes because she repeat some parts many times during the book, maybe trying to keep in mind the important details. it is a good story.
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Jamaica Kincaid is a novelist, gardener, and former reporter for The New Yorker Magazine. She is a Professor of Literature at Claremont-McKenna College.
More about Jamaica Kincaid...
A Small Place Annie John Lucy (French Edition) The Autobiography of My Mother At the Bottom of the River

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“This way of behaving, this way of feeling, so hysterical, so sad, when someone has died, I don't like at all and would like to avoid. It's not as if the whole thing has not happened before, it's not as if people have not been dying all along and each person left behind is the first person ever left behind in the world. What to make of it? Why can’t everybody just get used to it? People are born and they just can’t go on and on, but it is so hard, so hard for the people left behind; it’s so hard to see them go, as if it had never happened before, and so hard it could not happen to anyone else, no one but you could survive this kind of loss, seeing someone go, seeing them leave you behind; you don't want to go with them, you only don't want them to go.” 6 likes
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