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In this delightful hybrid of a book-part memoir and part travel journal-the bestselling author takes us deep into the mountains of Nepal with a trio of botanist friends in search of native Himalayan plants that will grow in her Vermont garden. Alighting from a plane in the dramatic Annapurna Valley, the ominous signs of Nepal's Maoist guerrillas are all around-an alarming presence that accompanies the travelers throughout their trek. Undaunted, the group sets off into the mountains with Sherpas and bearers, entering an exotic world of spectacular landscapes, vertiginous slopes, isolated villages, herds of yaks, and giant rhododendron, thirty feet tall. The landscape and flora and so much else of what Kincaid finds in the Himalaya-including fruit bats, colorful Buddhist prayer flags, and the hated leeches that plague much of the trip-are new to her, and she approaches it all with an acute sense of wonder and a deft eye for detail. In beautiful, introspective prose, Kincaid intertwines the harrowing Maoist encounters with exciting botanical discoveries, fascinating daily details, and lyrical musings on gardens, nature, home, and family.
Anyone familiar with Jamaica Kincaid's work knows that the natural world and in particular, plants and gardening are especially close to her heart. In this vivid account she invites us to accompany her on a seed-gathering trek in the Himalaya. For Kincaid and three botanist friends, Nepal is a paradise a place where a single day's hike can traverse climate zones from sub-tropical to alpine encompassing flora suitable for growing in their home grounds from Wales to Vermont. A wonderful blend of introspective insight and beautifully rendered description, Among Flowers is a seriously entertaining thoroughly engaging and characteristically frank memoir from one of the most distinctive and striking voices writing today.
The story is about the sorrow of a young girl Annie, who is getting disconnected with her family as she enters in puberty and how she transforms from an affectionate, obedient child to a defiant one.
Jamaica Kincaid's inspired, lyrical short stories. Reading Jamaica Kincaid is to plunge, gently, into another way of seeing both the physical world and its elusive inhabitants. Her voice is, by turns, naively whimsical and biblical in its assurance, and it speaks of what is partially remembered partly divined. The memories often concern a childhood in the Caribbean--family, manners, and landscape--as distilled and transformed by Kincaid's special style and vision. Kincaid leads her readers to consider, as if for the first time, the powerful ties between mother and child; the beauty and destructiveness of nature; the gulf between the masculine and the feminine; the significance of familiar things--a house, a cup, a pen. Transfiguring our human form and our surroundings--shedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect place--these stories tell us something we didn't know, in a way we hadn't expected.
Kincaid's new and long-awaited novel is a powerful and unforgettable story of loss, longing, loving, and survival that resonants with the proud insurgence of the human will. The story of Xuela, whose mother dies at the moment she is born, presents "an indeliable portrait of an angry woman" (New York Times) "most comparable, perhaps, to Camus' The Stranger" (Washington Post Book World).
The 1995 edition has abundant essays drawn from periodicals across the country. Here are some of the finest pieces from the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine written by some of today's finest prose stylists.
This is an intoxicating tale of love and wonder, mothers and daughters, spiritual values and the grim legacy of slavery on the French Antillean island of Guadeloupe. Here long-suffering Telumee tells her life story and tells us about the proud line of Lougandor women she continues to draw strength from. Time flows unevenly during the long hot blue days as the madness of the island swirls around the villages, and Telumee, raised in the shelter of wide skirts, must learn how to navigate the adversities of a peasant community, the ecstasies of love, and domestic realities while arriving at her own precious happiness. In the words of Toussine, the wise, tender grandmother who raises her, "Behind one pain there is another. Sorrow is a wave without end. But the horse mustn't ride you, you must ride it." A masterpiece of Caribbean literature, The Bridge of Beyond relates the triumph of a generous and hopeful spirit, while offering a gorgeously lush, imaginative depiction of the flora, landscape, and customs of Guadeloupe. Simone Schwarz-Bart's incantatory prose, interwoven with Creole proverbs and lore, appears here in a remarkable translation by Barbara Bray.
A Modern Library Paperback OriginalDuring the first years of the twentieth century, the British plant collector and explorer Frank Kingdon Ward went on twenty-four impossibly daring expeditions throughout Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia, in search of rare and elusive species of plants. He was responsible for the discovery of numerous varieties previously unknown in Europe and America, including the legendary Tibetan blue poppy, and the introduction of their seeds into the world's gardens. Kingdon Ward's accounts capture all the romance of his wildly adventurous expeditions, whether he was swinging across a bottomless gorge on a cable of twisted bamboo strands or clambering across a rocky scree in fear of an impending avalanche. Drawn from writings out of print for almost seventy-five years, this new collection, edited and introduced by professional horticulturalist and House & Garden columnist Tom Christopher, returns Kingdon Ward to his deserved place in the literature of discovery and the literature of the garden.
Jamaica Kincaid's most beguiling and powerful work to date. Nineteen-year-old Lucy comes to America from the West Indies to work for a couple and their four children. Almost at once, Lucy begins to see cracks in the facade of this handsome, rich, and seemingly happy family.
Jamaica Kincaid's first obsession, the island of Antigua, comes to life under the gaze of Mr. Potter, a taxi chauffeur who makes his living along the wide, open roads that pass the only towns he has ever seen and the graveyard where he will be buried.
Jamaica Kincaid's incantatory, poetic, and often shockingly frank recounting of her brother Devon Drew's life is also the story of her family on the island of Antigua, a constellation centered on the powerful, sometimes threatening figure of the writer's mother. Kincaid's unblinking record of a life that died too early speaks volumes about the difficult truths at the heart of all families.
In an intimate, playful, penetrating book on gardens, the plants that fill them, and the gardeners who tend them, Kincaid examines the idea of the garden on Antigua and considers the implications of the English formal garden in colonized countries.
In See Now Then, the brilliant and evocative new novel from Jamaica Kincaid-her first in ten years-a marriage is revealed in all its joys and agonies. This piercing examination of the manifold ways in which the passing of time operates on the human consciousness unfolds gracefully, and Kincaid inhabits each of her characters-a mother, a father, and their two children, living in a small village in New England-as they move, in their own minds, between the present, the past, and the future: for, as she writes, "the present will be now then and the past is now then and the future will be a now then. " Her characters, constrained by the world, despair in their domestic situations. But their minds wander, trying to make linear sense of what is, in fact, nonlinear. See Now Then is Kincaid's attempt to make clear what is unclear, and to make unclear what we assumed was clear: that is, the beginning, the middle, and the end Since the publication of her first short-story collection, At the Bottom of the River, which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Kincaid has demonstrated a unique talent for seeing beyond and through the surface of things. In See Now Then, she envelops the reader in a world that is both familiar and startling-creating her most emotionally and thematically daring work yet.
Kincaid's book appraises the small island of Antigua in the British West Indies where she grew up and makes vivid the impact of European colonization and tourism.
Talk Stories is a collection of Jamaica Kincaid's original writing for The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town", composed from 1978 to 1983, after she first came to the United States from Antigua. Kincaid found a unique voice, at once in sync with William Shawn's tone for the quintessential elite insider's magazine and (though unsigned) all her own -- wonderingly alive to the ironies and screwball details that characterized her adopted city. She meets Miss Jamaica, visiting from Kingston, and escorts the reader to the West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn; she sees Ed Koch don his "Cheshire-cat smile" and watches Tammy Wynette autograph a copy of Lattimore's Odyssey; she learns the worlds of publishing and partying, of fashion and popular music, and how to call cauliflower a crudite.
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