Jamaica Kincaid's inspired, lyrical short stories
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 Caribbeanfamily, manners, and landscapeas distilled and transformed by Kincaid's special style and vision.
Kincaid leads her readers to consider, as if for the first time, the powerful ties between mother and child; the beauty and destructiveness of nature; the gulf between the masculine and the feminine; the significance of familiar thingsa house, a cup, a pen. Transfiguring our human form and our surroundingsshedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect placethese stories tell us something we didn't know, in a way we hadn't expected.
Kincaid's first collection focuses on a nameless, blossoming Caribbean girl. According to PW , ``The voice--incantatory, lyric, rhapsodic--is closer to the condition of poetry and music than to fiction in any of its ordinary registers.'' (Jan.)