Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid

Title: Annie John

Author: Jamaica Kincaid

Context: Annie John (1985) is a post colonial novel by Jamaica Kincaid. The novel is a provocative and haunting tale about a young girl who spends her growing up years at Antigua, an island. It is a coming-of-age story focusing on the loss of childhood besides a tragic, universal and mainly the comic theme.

Synopsis: Annie is the lovable only child of her beautiful mother. Annie has all the while lived a blissful life. For Annie, the very centre of her existence is the powerful existence of her charming mother. Annie thrives and grows up under the shadow and protection of her mother. When Annie reflects back, she feels that life then was indeed a paradise.

Annie’s life undergoes a change when she becomes twelve years old. She finds the changes mysterious to her, very often. Many questions come up in her mind, like the cultural assumptions the island world follows and she no adheres to the authorities at school. For her mother, the most frightening thing was when she discontinues be the unconditional source of love for Annie. Instead she takes on an unknown and new guise of an enemy. On completing education at school, Annie plans to part with her family and Antigua, especially for her mother (she knew once) who continues to mourn. When Annie reflects, she states that is finds it difficult to tell whether it was her actually her mother and when it was her shadow standing between the rest of the world and Annie.

Other works by the Author:

Novels

1990 – Lucy

1996 – The Autobiography of My Mother

2002 – Mr. Potter

2013 – See Now Then

Uncollected Fiction

1989 – Ovando

1990 – The Finishing Line

1992 – Biography of a Dress

1993 – Song of Roland

1994 – Xuela

Short Story Collections

1983 – At the Bottom of the River

Non-fiction books

1988 – A Small Place

1997 – My Brother

2001 – Talk Stories

2001 – My Garden Book

2005 – Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas

Uncollected Non-fiction

1978 – Antigua Crossings: A Deep and Blue Passage on the Caribbean Sea

1983 – Figures in the Distance

1991 – On Seeing England for the First Time

1991 – Out of Kenya

1992 – Flowers of Evil: In the Garden

1993 – A Fire by Ice

1993 – Just Reading: In the Garden

1993 – Alien Soil: In the Garden

1993 – This Other Eden

1994 – The Season Past: In the Garden

1995 – In Roseau

1997 – In History (The Colors of Nature)

1998 – My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants they Love

Children’s literature

1986 – Annie, Gwen, Lilly, Pam and Tulip