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Summary

From the award-winning author of Annie John comes a brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua.

"If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the prime minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a prime minister would want an airport named after him - why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen..." So begins Jamaica Kincaid's expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the 10-by-12-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.

©2016 Jamaica Kincaid (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about A Small Place

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an authentic Antiguan accent

whilst the narrative was very interesting and shed light on the lot of colonial Antigua in its heyday, I found the accent of the narrator to be very off-putting. Being a descendant of an Antigua and having an Antiguan grandmother, mum and family I am very familiar with the accent. She read more like a south Asian accent. I think if you are going to use somebody with an accent for this book it has to be authentic and relate to the place. I found it very off-putting...

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Engaging

Didn.'t know what to expect.
Great lesson in history you learn something new.
Excellent pairing with narrator.

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Interesting in its own way

I learnt some things in listening to this short book, but I can't say I enjoyed it.

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Refreshing and searingly honest depiction

This book should be essential reading in all schools for a different perspective on the impact of the British Empire and colonisation.

Refreshing, searingly honest. Worth revisiting several times.

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A Caribbean Classic

The reputation of A Small Place preceded it, and it did not disappointed. Absolutely brilliant.

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  • DMB
  • 13-06-19

powerful and poetic

Kincaid's description of Antigua are beautiful and Stark. She doesn't hold any punches, as she eviscerates Colonial Masters and their impact on the island. to read this book is to feel like a visitor Antigua to be a visitor is to feel like an outsider and a bit judged, but you also feel that judgment is warranted and more of a call to action in a condemnation

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  • Charles Comer
  • 10-10-18

Perfect Narration

Anyone whose heard of this story already knows how wonderfully written it is. What I want you to know is that it's beautifully narrated by a woman with an accent well suited for this narrative. She breathes life into Kincaid's words. It's like magic.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-21

Fantastic story and narration- kept me riveted!

I’ve never read Jamaica Kincaid’s work before and I’m so glad I listened to it on this app! The acerbic tone of voice she uses to describe people who vacation on the island of Antigua is delicious and stunning all at once. The evisceration she does so quickly and effortlessly of “foreigners” and local corrupt politicians left me smiling and laughing out loud. While it may be an older story; it certainly speaks to the history of the cumulative disruptions left in the wake of colonization, racism’s manifestations in the present and how an island is not really fully recovered from “outsiders” seeking resources for their own personal gains. Really a classic for understanding the twisted impositions of settler colonialism. Thank you!💙❎

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  • Sean Finnerty
  • 05-06-21

a love letter to Antigua and it’s people

Recommended read for anyone prone to post vacation pictures to their social media. A case study of colonialism’s legacy: beautiful lands poorly governed visited by tourists escaping mundane lives.

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  • Landomc
  • 26-05-21

I understand

I understand where she's coming from and why others from the outside looking in would be upset at how she conveys it all.
being from Jamaica it's something that all the other Caribbean islands have in common.

it's not ment to be in any form racist to whites or tourist for that matter but shows how affected we are by our tourist when they come and leave, that we too come and leave without actually leaving.

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  • Michy
  • 13-03-21

Post-Colonial Insight

This book is a simple read yet captures the unabashed truths of post-colonialism. Kincaid’s satirical nature brings forth the dichotomy of perspective—one from a tourist who finds paradise in Antigua; the other from an Antiguan national who’s angry at how downtrodden the country has been since colonialism.
A good, short read for anyone taking courses with post-colonialism.

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  • Tom
  • 16-11-20

Not what I expected but revelatory.

I thought that this would be a book of poetry describing her life growing up in Antigua and, since Kincaid was spoken of as a possible Nobel winner, I wanted to get a sense of her work.

Instead it is a combination of memoir and a screed of a justifiably Angry Black Woman, damaged by the British Colonization of her Homeland. She is angry at the British and White Slave owners and traders, but also at her countrymen and women, who have accepted their degraded, disenfranchised and disempowered status as well as the White Tourists they serve.

Listening to Robin Miles’ lilting narration of these angry words takes the edge off Kincaid’s prose, but her resentment comes through. Like when reading James Baldwin or Ta-Nahisi Coates, it is difficult for a White Man to hear these words, but it’s essential to understand the burden of injustice people of color all over the World have endured under the yoke of White Supremacy. It burns through clearly in A Small Place.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-03-19

not bad

This book was good details about what jamaican life is from a different perspective, and let you understand that perspective well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • christine espinet
  • 18-01-22

Delighted By My Required Reading

This book was required for my “History of the Caribbean” course at college. It was a very quick read but it truly expresses the mindset of Caribbean people. She exclusively talks about Antigua, such a small country with such deep history. These islands were colonized solely for profit and the effects of that are seen to this day (this goes for many of the other Caribbean islands too)

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  • J. Cruz
  • 05-12-21

Concise Praise

Beautiful, well structured narrative that gives as much as it takes. This story provides excellent context to anyone, who’s ever wondered if the “ugly American” is a real thing.