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A Small Place
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Country and Territories > A Small Place (August 2018)

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Mariah Roze (mariahroze) | 1432 comments Mod
Countries and Territories for August: Antigua and Barbuda

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid


Maya B | 42 comments I've heard of this author but never read any of her books. This looks interesting. I may read this if my schedule permits


Mariah Roze (mariahroze) | 1432 comments Mod
Maya wrote: "I've heard of this author but never read any of her books. This looks interesting. I may read this if my schedule permits"

That is awesome! I read this book a super long time ago and I don't remember it, so I will probably re-read it. The author has written a ton of books.


message 4: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray | 14 comments I read this last month and I'm stoked to see what people have to say about it!


Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments What did you think of it? While I found her diatribes against colonialism and her present government's corruption warranted, I didn't find it to be good reading. It felt like a lot of regurgitation of the same basic ideas over and over again. I'm sure that her other books are better.


message 6: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray | 14 comments That's fair!

This was my first time reading about the concept of colonialism continued through tourism, which was interesting. I wished the work was more structured, and while it was a short piece, I also noticed copious repetition. Overall, it piqued my interest and if it were edited or more expansive, I think I might have admired it.


Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments It's true. I never thought of the concept of colonialism continued through tourism. She had a point. My problem with it was that she kept making that point over and over again. We travel a lot but usually to first world countries. I never thought of it like that.


Maya B | 42 comments Even though it was repetitive it was an interesting subject. Colonialism is something I never thought was a good thing and I always read about it in textbook form. This book was more of a conversation with a native. Definitely leaves you thinking


Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments And it's probably the conversation you wouldn't have the opportunity to have if you actually went there.


Karen Witzler (kewitzler) I did read it and liked it.Though it was written 30 years ago, I find it still relevant. I grew up in Orlando and have had the odd backwards tourist experience of outsiders conspiratorially insulting the locals without realizing that I was one. I wrote a little review for my own memory and I would like to read Kincaid's Annie John. Also on the return to the island/Colonialism theme - an interesting choice for Dominica would be A View of the Empire at Sunset by Caryl Phillips - it is based on the author Jean Rhys's actual trip home after many years in Europe. Of course, it makes me want to reread her Wide Sargasso Sea. Sorry, I can only talk about books by relating them to other books...


message 11: by Maya (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maya B | 42 comments Lisa wrote: "And it's probably the conversation you wouldn't have the opportunity to have if you actually went there."

Indeed


message 12: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray | 14 comments Karen wrote: "I did read it and liked it.Though it was written 30 years ago, I find it still relevant. I grew up in Orlando and have had the odd backwards tourist experience of outsiders conspiratorially insulti..."

Nice! When we were voting for this book I remember Annie John sounded interesting so it's on my list too! Also, thanks for recommending A View of the Empire at Sunset. I loved reading about that theme in A Small Place, but I wasn't sure where to go next. Thanks!


message 13: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Sep 07, 2018 01:33PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) As I am a poor traveler, I am glad to stay inside my air-conditioned hotel room when I have had to travel to [insert any hot place whatsoever here - Hawaii, Florida, Southern California, Mexico, etc.] eating almost nothing except packaged foods.

Understand, I am making this comment all about me and not about the subject of colonialism. Read on...

Politics, exploitation, history, have nothing to do with my vacation discomforts. If I annoy any distant locals, it will be because I am barely spending any time doing things where tips can be expected. Yes, I am the one who ends up staying in my hotel room because everything is making me sick: the water, the food, the heat, the sun.

I have since learned there is such a thing as a sun allergy or sensitivity. But that wasn't all. Add in motion sickness, asthma, severe myopia (swimming is impossible with glasses fogging up or worse, getting lost) and apparently a delicate stomach (which has morphed into a stomach acid problem so bad I have had to be on a pill since I was 37 as my endoscopy showed burns in my stomach; I got tired of sleeping sitting up for two years trying to deal myself with my 'temporary' issue - feeling I am too gd young for this!)

It was a surprise to me, friends, that everything made me ill. I was young person, supposedly invincible and looking for fun entertainment, right? Like everybody does! I jumped into Life, right?

It turned out southern or strong Sun gave me a horrible itchy rash all over my face, legs and arms and a bad headache; tourist food eateries caused me to frequently vomit; the water smelled like sewage to me despite that everyone else said they noticed nothing. Everybody else also was excited and drinking heavily. If I had more than two drinks or any drugs I sometimes vomited and sometimes had a seizure (undiagnosed but minor occasional epilepsy - a single 'erratic' brain wave I did not know I had at the time). The dry heat (if there was dry heat) made my asthma worse (I did not know the air was full of invisible dust which did not bother anyone else, and I did not know I had asthma). Humidity also made me vomit and lethargic.

Canada has the only tourist traps where I can enjoy being an ugly tourist. Lucky me?

o _ O

: p


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments Why go to places that make you sick? I won't go on an ocean cruise because I get seasick.


message 15: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Sep 07, 2018 02:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) I did not know I'd get sick.

: (

Now, I know.

When it began to happen, friends suggested lotions, potions and charms, all of us hoping....but alas! It is like dressing up for a dance, and then the car breaks in the driveway, only I was already there and we had already bought tickets.


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments Sorry to hear it. I live for hot and warm weather. If I couldn't get away from Chicago in the winter because the sun made me sick, I don't know what I'd do.


message 17: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Sep 09, 2018 01:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Ok. I'm ready to comment on the book.

I get it. Her rage is legitimate. She is entitled to rant, and all of her points about racist colonialism are spot on. She is also enraged over the corruption of her government and its officials. I am angry that her beloved library was never rebuilt, too, in sympathy. I wonder if the way Antigua was thirty years ago is still true.

However, as a read, I was disappointed with 'A Small Place'. It went on too long about her rage. I feel hypocritical, though, saying this. Those of you familiar with my reviews probably have the same opinion about my reviews (and comments). I tend to rant and rave about a particular theme in a book, and talk a lot about my past because the book reminded me of a similar event in my life, more than I actually review the book (yes, I know my faults). Kincaid is kinda doing the same thing here (better writing, of course). Just the same, I wanted to like this book better than I did. My reviews are soporific and self-indulgent because I am enjoying thinking out loud for myself. But what was Kincaid doing? This did not seem worthy as a published essay. It was interesting, though, on the history.


message 18: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa (lisarosenbergsachs) | 123 comments It was interesting. Her take on colonialism as tourism gave me something to think about, but it could have been much shorter. Just saying.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Lisa wrote: "It was interesting. Her take on colonialism as tourism gave me something to think about, but it could have been much shorter. Just saying."

Completely agree.


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