Offers a new perspective on the psychological and affective dynamics of Jamaica Kincaid’s fiction and nonfiction.
Haunted by the memories of her powerfully destructive mother, Jamaica Kincaid is a writer out of necessity. Born Elaine Potter Richardson, Kincaid grew up in the West Indies in the shadow of her deeply contemptuous and abusive mother, Annie Drew. Drawing heavily on Kincaid's many remarks on the autobiographical sources of her writings, J. Brooks Bouson investigates the ongoing construction of Kincaid's autobiographical and political identities. She focuses attention on what many critics find so enigmatic and what lies at the heart of Kincaid's fiction and nonfiction work: the "mother mystery. " Bouson demonstrates, through careful readings, how Kincaid uses her writing to transform her feelings of shame into pride as she wins the praise of an admiring critical establishment and an ever-growing reading public.
J. Brooks Bouson is Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of Quiet As It's Kept: Shame, Trauma, and Race in the Novels of Toni Morrison, also published by SUNY Press; Brutal Choreographies: Oppositional Strategies and Narrative Design in the Novels of Margaret Atwood; and The Empathic Reader: A Study of the Narcissistic Character and the Drama of the Self.