In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the July–August 2023 topic challenge.
Based on the number of votes (+4), the next topic challenge of the year 2023 will be
What's a topic challenge?
See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during July and August 2023 you are invited to try to read at least one Jamaica Kincaid story and ask questions about it.
Participation is not obligatory in any sense, and questions on other works are more than welcome during July and August too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.
How can I take part?
By getting hold of some works of Jamaica Kincaid and asking (or answering!) good questions about them. Questions about these works should be tagged with jamaica-kincaid and either short-stories or (for longer works) a tag for the work's title. We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.
Jamaica Kincaid is an Antiguan-American novelist and essayist who grew up in poor conditions but managed to become a published author and a professor at Harvard University. At the age of 16, she was sent to New York City to work as an au pair and she started attending evening classes at a community college. Later, she started writing for a teenage girls' magazine and eventually got employed as a staff writer by The New Yorker.
She has a unique style that has sometimes been described as magic realism, a label that she doesn't find an accurate description. Giovanna Covi described Kincaid' style as follows:
The tremendous strength of Kincaid's stories lies in their capacity to resist all canons. They move at the beat of a drum and the rhythm of jazz…
Kincaid's works include the following:
- "Girl" (short story, The New Yorker, 1978)
- "In the Night" (short story, The New Yorker, 1978)
- "Wingless" (short story, The New Yorker, 1979)
- At the Bottom of the River (short stories, 1983)
- Annie John (novel, 1985)
- Lucy (novel, 1990)
- The Autobiography of My Mother (novel, 1996)
- Mr Potter (novel, 2002)
- See Now Then (novel, 2013)
- Vote for the next topic challenge (August–September), or propose your own topic!