Figures In The Distance by Jamaica Kincaid, 1983 Continue reading
He Also Loved by Claude McKay, 1928 Continue reading
New York Day Women by Edwidge Danticat, 1996 Continue reading
The Letter From Home by Jamaica Kincaid, 1981 Continue reading
In The Night by Jamaica Kincaid, 1978 Continue reading
At Last by Jamaica Kincaid, 1979 Continue reading
Wingless by Jamaica Kincaid, 1979 Continue reading
Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, 1978 Continue reading
Night Women by Edwidge Danticat, 1993 Continue reading
The Circling Hand by Jamaica Kincaid, 1983
The magic trick:
Beautifully describing the changing relationship with one’s mother as a girl grows into a teenager
Kincaid does a wonderful job illustrating a girl’s changing relationship with her mother. The narrator begins the story idolizing her mother, and winds up in classic teen-angst mode: sullen, talking back, and shifting her worship onto a classmate.
Kincaid describes vividly the actions and feelings associated with both sides of the transition. She also uses a very memorable scene – involving the titular circling hand – as the breaking point. None of it is new or particularly surprising. But it doesn’t have to be, when the emotions are as real and well-drawn as they are here. And that’s quite a trick on Kincaid’s part.
I was about to ask her this when remembered that a few days earlier I had asked in my most pleasing, winning way for a look through the trunk. A person I did not recognize answered in a voice I did not recognize, “Absolutely not! You and I don’t have time for that anymore.” Again, did the ground wash out from under me? Again, the answer would have to be yes, and I wouldn’t be going too far.