The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica KincaidThe lines in this book kept me thinking. Any book that does that is good. It is one to take note of.
The book is supposedly written by a seventy-year-old woman living on the island of Dominica. That is in the Caribbean. SHE is telling us about her life. Her mother, a Carib, died giving birth to her. Her father is half Scottish and half African. Her father sent her to live with his laundress, a mother of six. She was of no more value than a bundle of his dirty laundry. And yet, he did se to her education. That he needn’t have done. Her feelings for him? She despises him, on most accounts at least! There is an ambivalence. She sees herself as a woman alone in the world. What she makes of herself will be her own doing. Her aloneness has made her strong, but I ask, “At what price?”
I assume that through this woman the author is giving us a message. The title reveals she is speaking not only of herself but also of her mother and unborn children too.
What makes one strong? To what extent should self-reliance be pushed? Independence from others, the ability to manage on one’s own--does this bring happiness? Inner peace, contentment and satisfaction—how is such attained? Self-fulfillment—how far should this be pushed? Sharing life experiences with others, where does this fit in? These are the questions one ponders as one reads. Colonialism, the victors and the vanquished, is a theme touched upon, but on a personal level.
Taste the writing. This is what you will get:
“The inevitable is no less a shock just because it is inevitable.”
“I came to love myself in deference, out of despair.”
“What I had lost in physical appeal or beauty, I had gained in character.”
“He was a small event in somebody else’s history.”
“My father’s skin was the color of corruption—copper, gold, ore.”
“It is in the small parts of something that beauty lies.”
“The smile was a disguise.”
“He was my father, but I did not know him.”
“I grew to love not liking my father.”
“I never grew to like my father. Perhaps I grew to love him.”
“I came to love my father, but only when he was dead.”
“You are a child until the people that brought you into this world are dead.”
“Truth is always so full of uncertainty.”
“Who you are is a mystery no one can answer, not even you.”
“But who can really forget the past? Not the victor! Not he vanquished!”
Sentence after sentence made me think. The reader Is not given answers. It is at the conclusion of the novel that one sits back and ponders what the author is saying.
I like how Kincaid writes. I like its simplicity, its rawness, its brutal honesty.
Much of the book is about validation of one’s self, of one’s desires both emotional and physical. The book has ample sexual content. Awareness and appreciation of one’s own body, of its smells, texture and sexual earnings, is a central component. This may be distasteful to some readers. See this as a word of warning.
Throughout the book KIncaid had me thinking. This is good. Many truths are expressed about human behavior. This I appreciate. I like Kincaid’s bare, raw style of writing. She values and I value self-reliance, but I believe I value more than her interaction between people and the importance and delight of sharing an experience with another. Here lies a basic difference between the author’s and my point of view. It is why I give the book three rather than four stars, despite my appreciation of the writing and that the lines kept me thinking. The main character is just too self-centered, too much of an egoist for me. I said egoist, not egotist!
Kincaid draws colonialism in terms of the individual. This I do not think is bad.
Robin Miles narrates the audiobook. Her performance is fantastic. There are great lines to be found in this book, and she says them extremely well. She gives one adequate time to think. The narration I have given five stars.
BIOGRAPHY OF MY MOM
After her brothers' births, she resented her mother, who thereafter focused primarily on the brothers' needs. Kincaid later recalled,. Our family money remained the same, but there were more people to feed and to clothe, and so everything got sort of shortened, not only material things but emotional things.
My Mother: My Role Model and Best Friend
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Show less - It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path- Agatha Christie. Even though I grow old by the passing second, to my mother I will forever be her little girl.
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Autobiography of My Mother was written by Antiguan-American Jamaica Kincaid , author of novels, short fiction, and essays. Kincaid's own life experiences living in poverty in Antigua as a child and her position in the world as a woman have been the basis of her novels. Autobiography of My Mother is different than her other novels because of its style. Unlike her other books which are filled with poetic and flowery language, Autobiography of My Mother is written in a more direct style of prose. The book is pensive and reflective on the protagonist's own life, instead of her relationships. It is also different than her other novels because of its subject matter.
This is technically true, though it was just my brother and me and he was looking at Facebook and I was reading a profile of Hillary Clinton in the December issue of Vogue. She was breathing in that slow, irregular way that signals that the end is near. Then nothing more. That was it. It was turning from red to purple to blue. Perhaps I would rage at the gods, regret all that had gone unsaid, pull an article of clothing from her closet and hold it close, taking her in.
From an essay first published in the January issue of Shufu to seikatsu Homemaker's Life , a Japanese women's magazine 1. My mother, whose name is Ichi, was born in the twenty-eighth year of the Meiji era and hence is now close to eighty. She lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Tokyo. She raised eight children of her own and adopted and raised two other children from outside. Now that her sons have families of their own and her only daughter has also married, she can boast a total of thirteen grandchildren. She is a very simple woman without any education, but she succeeded in raising all of her children in good health.