A Small Place

Jamaica Kincaid

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

96 Pages


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Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright, A Small Place magnifies our vision of one small place with Swiftian wit and precision. Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay candidly appraises the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up, and makes palpable the dual impact of European colonization and tourism. The book is a missive to the traveler, whether American or European, who wants to escape the banality and corruption of some large place. Kincaid, eloquent and resolute, reminds us that the Antiguan people, formerly British subjects, are unable to escape the same drawbacks of their own tiny realm—that behind the benevolent Caribbean scenery are human lives, always complex and often fraught with injustice.


Praise for A Small Place

"Ms. Kincaid writes with passion and conviction . . . [and with] a poet's understanding of how politics and history, private and public events, overlap and blur."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A jeremiad of great clarity and force that one might have called torrential were the language not so finely controlled."—Salman Rushdie

"Rich and evocative prose that is also both urgent and poetic . . . Kincaid is a witness to what is happening in our West Indian backyards. And I trust her."—Caryl Phillips, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Kincaid continues to write with a unique, compelling voice that cannot be found anywhere else. Her small books are worth a pile of thicker—and hollower—ones."—Jeffrey Rodgers, San Francisco Chronicle

"This is truth, beautifully and powerfully stated . . . In truly lyrical language that makes you read aloud, [Kincaid] takes you from the dizzying blue of the Caribbean to the sewage of hotels and clubs where black Antiguans are only allowed to work . . . Truth, wisdom, insight, outrage, and cutting wit."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Wonderful reading . . . Tells more about the Caribbean in 80 pages than all the guidebooks."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

In the Press

Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Jamaica Kincaid & Jonathan Galassi
Authors and Editors in Conversation Jonathan Galassi: Jamaica, this is your first novel in a decade. How has your writing changed in the intervening period and what have you been thinking about in terms of writing? Jamaica Kincaid: ?...

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

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.
Read the full excerpt


  • Jamaica Kincaid

  • Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. Johns, Antigua. Her other 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.
  • Jamaica Kincaid Copyright Kenneth Noland