The Autobiography of My Mother

A Novel

Jamaica Kincaid

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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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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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 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.

Jamaica Kincaid

Copyright Kenneth Noland
Jamaica Kincaid

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Autobiography of My Mother
A Novel
Jamaica Kincaid

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
May 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374531874
ISBN10: 0374531870
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 1996
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466828841
ISBN10: 1466828846
228 pages
$9.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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