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A Small Place

A Small Place [Kindle Edition]

Jamaica Kincaid
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua--by the author of Annie John

"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the Prime Minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a Prime Minister would want an airport named after him--why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen . . ."

So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.

About the Author

Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. Johns, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, and My Brother (all published by FSG). She lives with her family in Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful story 24 Feb 2005
Small Place is a very simple-written book. With a fascinating setting in Antigua is the story of the extraordinary conditions of the life of the people of Antigua. Jamaica Kincaid's writing portrays not only her bitterness with the legacies of slavery but also her disappointment with the new Antigua, especially the loss of social values and the corruption plaguing the political life and those higher up in society. And she brought it out so succinctly and poignantly that this book clearly articulates the crisis plaguing developing nations, especially Africa that though independent, still have not yet shaken off the negative legacies of colonialism. This is a highly recommendable read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A polemic on the political state of Antigua 2 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Kincaid, an ex-Antigua resident, rails at just about everything in Antigua. She highlights what she sees as corrupt government and morally dubious foreign policy and rails at the american and european tourists who tacitly support the regime by frequenting the island as a holiday destination.
Kincaid is equally critical of the Antiguan people for constantly re-electing the same government; she uses the island's library (or lack thereof) as a benchmark for all that is wrong.
She fails to mention that the island is devoid of natural resources and without tourism would barely have a self sustaining economy, nor does she delight ever in the beauty of the country or the friendliness of its people (which she would dismiss as colinial style servitude)
If you know and love the caribbean this is a real eye-opener which will make you see the area (particularly Antigua) in a different light. Don't expect a tourist guide or even an easy read though; Kincaid is for real and you'll feel uncomfortable for the read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 23 May 2014
By Roxy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great seller, great read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tells you how it is! 23 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Puts all smug tourists, second home owners, sun worshippers and old colonials firmly in their place. Paints a sad picture of rampant corruption.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spot On ... 16 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book didn't stop me from visiting Antigua at all, in fact, Jamaica Kincaid's observations in 'A Small Place' were spot on.

When I visited the island before I read her book, I always had my 'tourist hat on', and was oblivious to
the struggles of the indigenous population; the corruption that still haunts their politicians; and the failed
legacies that the British had left behind some time ago.

It was only after I had read her book, that everything she had written, fell into place when I went back to visit again.

The majority of cars were still in a much better state than the homes where people lived, and many of the islanders
that I spoke to were always complaining about the influx of the Guyanese & the Syrians who were hindering their own
job prospects, also, the politicians were still 'ducking & diving' to avoid the smears of corruption; and not forgetting
the influence of the long departed British is still much in evidence to this day (you only have to look at the
decaying statues & monuments, and the over reliance on a judicial system that still prolongs many a murder
trial on this island).

An evocative read, but a very accurate one ...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ex-pat experience 17 Nov 2010
A rather bitter review of Antigua' colonial and post colonial governance as seen from exile in North America. An interesting take on this slave island's current luxury holiday image.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read 7 Sep 2006
By CeCe
An interesting read from an unusual viewpoint and indeed location. It felt a little simplistic at times, as if Kincaid was really only scratching the surface of the price of independence for former colonies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A scathing, honest, unflattering view of Antigua
Having lived 6 months in Antigua, a decade after this was written, I found Kincaird's account interesting, and can emphathise with the scathing, stream of consciousness this book... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrew B
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat offensive but worth a read
It's difficult to see past the obvious blame being leveled against the white western world in this book but once you do it has some interesting things to say about the modern... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Smoothy
2.0 out of 5 stars simplistic
The blurb on the back promises 'rich and evocative prose' and something 'elegant', 'poetic' and 'compelling' . This book was such a disappointment. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Corbrid
4.0 out of 5 stars thank you
a bit slower than expected, but probably due to bad weather in the UK. quick and detailed response to email, thank you
Published on 20 Jan 2010 by E. Hayward
2.0 out of 5 stars An 80 page moan
Jamaica needs to attend anger management classes if this is the best she can produce. A rambling, depressing, high level gripe was not what I expected, but it's certainly what was... Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2008 by bibliotech
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The author clearly has anger issues. The English, Americans, Lebanese and Syrians are all pigs. Europeans are human rubbish. Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2008 by One More Time
4.0 out of 5 stars A well told first account
I bought this book because I grew up on the glorious island of Antigua. In an instant I'm agreeing to all she says about the airport and all the way through the book. Read more
Published on 4 April 2006 by C. V. McCulloch
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