Jamaica Kincaid's new novel is the haunting, deeply charged story of a woman's life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, was delivered to his laundress as an infant, bundled up like his clothes. The Autobiography of My Mother is a story of love, fear, loss, and the forging of a character, an account of one woman's inexorable evolution evoked in startling and magical poetry.
This is a shocking book. Elegantly and delicately composed, it is also inhuman, and unapologetically so. Jamaica Kincaid has written a truly ugly meditation on life in some of the most beautiful prose we are likely to find in contemporary fiction. -- New York Times