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A Short Story Analysis: "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid

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A Short Story Analysis: "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid

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  • September 25, 2007
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Jamaica Kincaid, born Elaine Potter Richardson, is originally from St. John's, Antigua (Britannica). She was born in 1949 and three years later she had learned to read by attending local schools which provided a british style education (Britannica). Her father was a cabinet maker and her mother was a political activist (Britannica). By the age of sixteen, she left her home in St. John's to come to America and be an au pair in Manhattan (Garner). She however felt that being an au pair was synonymous with being a slave (Garner). She soon began looking for other types of work which would allow for more creativity (Garner). She said that "I began writing in my early twenties out of desperation" (Faulkner). Her first published piece of writing was in a magazine called Ingenue and it was an interview with feminist Gloria Steinem (Britannica). Sometime after this publication, in 1973, she legally changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid to reconnect with her Caribbean roots (Britannica). From there she became the assistant of George Trow who wrote "talk of the town" for The New Yorker (Garner). Later it came to the attention of William Shawn, the editor of The New Yorker, that she had exceptional talent and hired her to be a staff writer (Garner). In 1979 She married Allen Shawn, the son of William Shawn (Garner). Writing for The New Yorker is where she found her true style of writing (Garner). She actually stayed with the magazine until 1995 when she became unhappy with the new editor, Tina Brown, and left (Britannica).

1Some of her writings from her early days up through recent times are "Girl", "At The Bottom Of The River", "Annie John", "A Small Place", "Lucy", "The Autobiography Of My Mother", and "My Brother". "Girl" was written in 1978 and was her first fiction story, it focussed on her relationship with her mother. "At The Bottom Of The River" was written in 1983 and was a collection of short stories and reflections. "Annie John" was similar to an autobiography...