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In the Box

Dale Peck

6 February 1997
How Stella Got Her Groove Back 
by Terry McMillan.
Viking, 368 pp., £16, September 1996, 0 670 86990 2
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Push 
by Sapphire.
Secker, 142 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 436 20291 3
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The Autobiography of My Mother 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Vintage, 228 pp., £8.99, September 1996, 0 09 973841 4
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... coffee-pot in half. All of this by way of introduction to the books under review here. Their three authors are all black; they are also all women, and they are also – or almost – all American (JamaicaKincaid was born in Antigua, but left at 17 and has lived in the United States for the past thirty years), and it is primarily for these reasons that they are being reviewed together. I say ...

Answering back

James Campbell

11 July 1991
The Intended 
by David Dabydeen.
Secker, 246 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 436 20007 4
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Cambridge 
by Caryl Phillips.
Bloomsbury, 185 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 0 7475 0886 0
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Lucy 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Cape, 176 pp., £11.99, April 1991, 0 224 03055 8
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... only as a token of what might have been. The themes of expatriation and master-slave relationships are probably unavoidable for the Afro-Caribbean writer sooner or later. They are also present in JamaicaKincaid’s third work of fiction, Lucy. Kincaid comes from the island of Antigua. Like Dabydeen and Phillips, she left her native place, but on a boat headed for New York rather than Southampton ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides

24 October 2019
Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... many lives. Embedded in Moser’s biography is a deep, jagged tooth of ambivalence that’s more provocative, and revealing about the subject, than the usual range of mixed emotions that linger on. JamaicaKincaid said of Sontag: ‘Yes, she was cruel and so on, but … she was also very kind. She was just a great person. I don’t think I ever wanted to be a great person after I knew Susan ...

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