At the Bottom of the River

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Overview

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 Caribbean—family, manners, and landscape—as distilled and transformed by Kincaid's special ...

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Cover Art N. Y. 1992 Soft Cover 1st Very Good. No Jacket Trade Paperback. 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. The cover has very light shelf wear. The book may have minor flaws that may have ... gone unnoticed. Read more Show Less

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1992 Paperback Very Good THANK YOU!

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Kincaid,Jamaica At The Bottom Of The River

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1992-01-01 Paperback Very Good This book is in excellent condition with tight solid pages and binding. Pages are clean and bright. No names, remainder mark, no stickers. Very ... light wear to book. Ship carefully in bubble envelopes. Will ship expedited or 2 day mail. Read more Show Less

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1992 Trade Paperback Very Good Size: 8vo-over 7; A Plume book. First printing. An inscription in pen on title page that says" Elizabeth, Enjoy." then there is an image of a ... spiral, after that a signature that couild possibly be the Authors signature, but we are not sure. light edge and shelf wear, interior very good. Read more Show Less

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1992 Mass Market Paperback Very good Minor wear, gift inscription inside front cover. Text is clean.

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At the Bottom of the River

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Overview

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 Caribbean—family, manners, and landscape—as 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 things—a house, a cup, a pen. Transfiguring our human form and our surroundings—shedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect place—these stories tell us something we didn't know, in a way we hadn't expected.

Ten short fictions whose concerns are frequently a childhood in the Caribbean.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452267541
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1992
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John's, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, and My Brother. She lives with her family in Vermont.

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Read an Excerpt

At Bottom of the River


By Jamaica Kincaid

Vintage Books USA

Copyright © 1985 Jamaica Kincaid
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0394736834


Chapter One



GIRL


Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don't walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash; soak salt fish overnight before you cook it; is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?; always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don't sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn't speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions; don't eat fruits on the street—flies will follow you; but I don't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming; this is how you iron your father's khaki shirt so that it doesn't have a crease; this is how you iron your father's khaki pants so that they don't have a crease; this is how you grow okra—far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants; when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it; this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard; this is how you smile to someone you don't like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don't like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely; this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don't know you very well, and this way they won't recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit; don't squat down to play marbles—you are not a boy, you know; don't pick people's flowers—you might catch something; don't throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all; this is how to make a bread pudding; this is how to make doukona; this is how to make pepper pot; this is how to make a good medicine for a cold; this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child; this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don't like, and that way something bad won't fall on you; this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man, and if this doesn't work there are other ways, and if they don't work don't feel too bad about giving up; this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn't fall on you; this is how to make ends meet; always squeeze bread to make sure it's fresh; but what if the baker won't let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?

Continues...


Excerpted from At Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid Copyright © 1985 by Jamaica Kincaid. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Girl 3
In the Night 6
At Last 13
Wingless 20
Holidays 29
The Letter From Home 37
What I Have Been Doing Lately 40
Blackness 46
My Mother 53
At the Bottom of the River 62
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2001

    A Must Have

    This book is a must have in anyone's personal collection. Jamica Kincaid is profound and brilliant. I don't relate to other girls and women well, but I can relate to all that she has to say!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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