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The Autobiography of My Mother
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Published:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1996
Accelerated Reader:
IL: UG - BL: 7 - AR Pts: 9
Lexile measure:
1160L
Status:
Checked Out
Description

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

Jamaica Kincaid's 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.
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, 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 could 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.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/15/1996
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466828841
ASIN:
B009WVJSJW
Accelerated Reader:
UG
Level 7, 9 Points
Lexile measure:
1160
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jamaica Kincaid. (1996). The Autobiography of My Mother. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jamaica Kincaid. 1996. The Autobiography of My Mother. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jamaica Kincaid. The Autobiography of My Mother. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
50f2acb6-c216-3b2c-8ae8-a8bc0c7c7765
Go To Grouped Work
Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:14:13
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 17:14:13
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 16, 2023 09:12:21
Last Metadata Change:
Jun 04, 2023 12:21:48
Last Availability Check:
Oct 01, 2023 10:37:48
Last Availability Change:
Jul 23, 2023 00:50:09
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Oct 01, 2023 03:34:22

OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: 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, My Brother, Mr. Potter, and See Now Then. She teaches at Harvard University and lives in Vermont.
      • name: Jamaica Kincaid
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title
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fullDescription

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

Jamaica Kincaid's 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.
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, 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 could 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.

gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 8
      • value: Grade 9
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      • premium: False
      • source: Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
      • content:

        "Fierce, incantory . . . lyrical . . . powerful and disturbing."

      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
      • content: "Kincaid, always an elegant stylist, makes this story of a simple woman extraordinary . . . filling her prose with rich, poetic detail . . . An unforgettable account of singular survival."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Sunday Globe

      • content: "A book that comes both to haunt and to dazzle us . . . [Kincaid] writes like an angel: with enviable lucidity and precision and a lyric touch that frequently aspires to the condition of poetry."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 1, 1996
        Kincaid's third novel (after Annie John) is presented as the mesmerizing, harrowing, richly metaphorical autobiography of 70-year-old Xuela Claudette Richardson. Earthy, intractably antisocial, acridly introspective, morbidly obsessed with history and identity, conquest and colonialism, language and silence, Xuela recounts her life on the island of Dominica in the West Indies. In Kincaid's characteristically lucid, singsong prose, Xuela traces her evolution from a young girl to an old woman while interrogating the mysteries of her hybrid cultural origins and her parents, who failed to be parents: her mother died during childbirth; her often absent father, a cruel and petty island official, cultivates a veneer of respectability (``another skin over his real skin''), rendering him unrecognizable to his daughter. At 14, Xuela undertakes an affair with one of her father's friends, becomes pregnant and aborts the child. Experiencing that trauma as a rebirth (``I was a new person then''), she inaugurates a life of deliberate infertility, eventually becoming the assistant to a European doctor, whom she later marries. Xuela's Dominica, two generations after slavery, is a ``false paradise'' of reckless fathers and barren matrilinear relations, of tropical ferment, fecundity, witchcraft and slums, whose denizens resemble the walking dead. With aphoristic solemnity at times evocative of Ecclesiastes, Kincaid explores the full paradoxes of this extraordinary story, which, Xuela concludes, is at once the testament of the mother she never knew, of the mother she never allowed herself to be and of the children she refused to have. 75,000 first printing; major ad/ promo; author tour; translation, first serial, dramatic rights: Wylie, Aitken & Stone.

popularity
34
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shortDescription

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

Jamaica Kincaid's 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.
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, 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 could 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...

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awards
      • source: Notable Books Council
      • value: Notable Books for Adults
publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
bisacCodes
      • code: FIC043000
      • description: Fiction / Coming of Age