Last Friday, 6th May, as part of Caribbean Folklore Storytime’s celebration of Mother’s Day in the Caribbean, I read a story I had discovered way back in 1985 or so, Girl by Antiguan/American author Jamaica Kincaid. This very short story/poem, for me, reflects the gritty, practical truth of motherhood, the tensions of mother-daughter relationships and the sheer panic all mothers live with, that their children could so easily be gobbled up by a harsh, opportunistic world.

When I first read Jamaica Kincaid, I thought that her writing expressed fully the Caribbean that I knew and loved. Although her use of English language is quite standard, she manages to sneak in the rhythm and nuance of Caribbean expression and inflection. At the time she was a great influence on my own writing.

Jamaica Kincaid
Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer.