The Autobiography of My Mother: A Novel

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Overview

From the recipient of the 2010 Clifton Fadiman Medal, an unforgettable novel of one woman’s courageous coming-of-age

Powerful, disturbing, stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, the daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to death the moment she is born and must find her way on her own.

     Kincaid takes us from ...

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The Autobiography of My Mother: A Novel

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Overview

From the recipient of the 2010 Clifton Fadiman Medal, an unforgettable novel of one woman’s courageous coming-of-age

Powerful, disturbing, stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, the daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to death the moment she is born and must find her way on her own.

     Kincaid takes us from Xuela’s childhood in a home where she can hear the song of the sea to the tin-roofed room where she lives as a schoolgirl in the house of Jack LaBatte, who becomes her first lover. Xuela develops a passion for the stevedore Roland, who steals bolts of Irish linen for her from the ships he unloads, but she eventually marries an English doctor, Philip Bailey. Xuela’s is an intensely physical world, redolent of overripe fruit, gentian violet, sulfur, and rain on the road, and it seethes with her sorrow, her deep sympathy for those who share her history, her fear of her father, her desperate loneliness. But underlying all is “the black room of the world” that is Xuela’s barrenness and motherlessness.

     The Autobiography of My Mother is a story of love, fear, loss, and the forging of character, an account of one woman’s inexorable evolution, evoked in startling and magical poetry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374531874
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 587,451
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (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, My Brother, and See Now Then, all published by FSG. She lives with her family in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 18, 2013

    Excellent...

    A definite read filled with a mixture stark experiences and allegory...

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Boring, drawn out & depressing

    This must not be my preferred style of book. I kept waiting for the story to get interesting, but no such luck.
    The author was very descriptive, but the descriptions seemed to wander off track. By the time I would finish one of the many unnecessarily long sentences I would forget what she was originally talking about.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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