At the Bottom of the River
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, ...more
My first read for #abreadsaroundtheworld this year and I travelled to Antigua & Barbuda with Jamaica Kincaid!
At the Bottom of the River is a collection of intertwined short stories, eight out of ten of which deal with mother-daughter themes, and the daughter’s struggle to free herself from the dominating power pf the mother, as Kincaid often draws on her experiences with her own mother. More than anything, this collection made me want to read her longer works where she no doubt delves ...more
I enjoyed all the stories, though prefer he style in the long form, where we have time to settle into it, it requires more concentration in the short form and sometimes rereading to get into the flow. ...more
Jamaica Kincaid is a word witch, a sentence sorceress. At the Bottom of the River is a collection of her short stories in the form of prose poetry. It is composed of stories that first appeared in The New Yorker and The Paris Review between 1978 and 1983. My three favourite stories in the collection are “Girl,” “In the Night,” and “My Mother.”
“Girl” is a list of a Caribbean mother’s instructions to her daughter on how to perform household chores and behave like a “lady”:
“Always eat your food in...more
Edwidge Dandicat on Wingless: "It's poetry bleeding into ...more
reminds me of jean rhys but maybe it’s just that they’re both always writing about the caribbean, and the same images come back over and over again. her voice is so particular. “girl” and “in the night” were ...more
"I saw a world in which the sun and the moon shone at the same time. They appeared in a way I had never seen before: the sun was The Sun, a creation of Benevolence and Purpose and not a star among many stars, with a predictable cycle and a predictable end; the moon, too, was ...more
There were some beautiful parts that came together to create snippets of everyday life and descriptions of fantasy was woven in seamlessly. However, after a while I seemed to crave more ‘direction’ in the stories when the quotidian description meandered aimlessly a little bit too long. That said, because of its poetic natur ...more
Her oft anthologized "Girl" is the first story in this collection. Although "Girl" is wonderful, I wouldn't say it was the best. I think my least favorite was the title piece. ...more
She loves the thing that is not cultivated, and yet
She loves the thing built up.
Bit carefully placed upon bit - it's very beauty
eclipsing the deed it is meant to commemerate.
Labeled as "short stories", I found these pieces to be a better fit in prose poetry - both in form and theme. Kincaid is a vituoso of lyrcism. ...more
There are feels, obvious images, but in a way distorted, or sloppy, unclear.
Lots of lovely poetics, but I've read other novels that work this way that seemed to work better, somehow. ...more