Annie John

A Novel

Jamaica Kincaid

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Annie John is a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua. A classic coming-of-age story in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Kincaid’s novel focuses on a universal, tragic, and often comic theme: the loss of childhood. Annie’s voice—urgent, demanding to be heard—is one that will not soon be forgotten by readers.

An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence, who is the very center of the little girl’s existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives within her mother’s benign shadow. Looking back on her childhood, she reflects, “It was in such a paradise that I lived.” When she turns twelve, however, Annie’s life changes, in ways that are often mysterious to her. She begins to question the cultural assumptions of her island world; at school she instinctively rebels against authority; and most frighteningly, her mother, seeing Annie as a “young lady,” ceases to be the source of unconditional adoration and takes on the new and unfamiliar guise of adversary. At the end of her school years, Annie decides to leave Antigua and her family, but not without a measure of sorrow, especially for the mother she once knew and never ceases to mourn. “For I could not be sure,” she reflects, “whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world."

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Reviews

Praise for Annie John

"So touching and familiar it could be happening to any of us . . . and that's exactly the book's strength, its wisdom, its truth."--The New York Times Book Review

"So neon-bright that the traditional story of a young girl's passage into adolescence takes on a shimmering strangeness."--Elaine Kendall, The Los Angeles Times

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: ?...
- FSG's Work in Progress


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About the Author

Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid's books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, A Small Place, Lucy, The Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and, most recently, Mr. Potter. She lives in Vermont.

Jamaica Kincaid

Copyright Kenneth Noland
Jamaica Kincaid

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Available Formats and Book Details

Annie John
A Novel
Jamaica Kincaid

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
June 1997
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466837782
ISBN10: 1466837780
148 pages
$9.27

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
June 1997
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374525101
ISBN10: 0374525102
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 148 pages
$13.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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