Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

a nutshell: in this melodious bildungsroman an Antiguan girl, Annie, leads us on a frank journey through her adolescence – beginning in paradise and ending in acrimony

a line: “How to explain to her about the thimble that weighed worlds, and the dark cloud that was like an envelope in which my mother and I were sealed?”

an image: Annie describes her headmistress – Miss Moore from England – as resembling a prune left out of its jar with a voice borrowed from an owl

a thought: reviews of Annie John curiously tend to be just as ‘love/hate’ as Annie’s feelings; many reviewers put their hatred down to their dislike for Annie herself, yet I came away thinking she was one of the more honest, familiar narrators I’ve come across – and liked her for her bluntness

a fact: each chapter was published by the New Yorker separately before being compiled and published as a book – hence its episodic nature


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