Annie John
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"Annie John" Quotes

By Jamaica Kincaid

fiction | 160 pages | Published in 1997

Annie John is a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua. A classic coming-of-age story in the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Kincaid's novel focuses on a universal, tragic, and often comic theme: the loss of childhood. Annie's voice—urgent, demanding to be heard—is one that will not soon be forgotten by readers. An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence, who is the very center of the little girl's existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives within her mother's benign shadow. Looking back on her childhood, she reflects, "It was in such a paradise that I lived." When she turns twelve, however, Annie's life changes, in ways that are often mysterious to her. She begins to question the cultural assumptions of her island world; at school she instinctively rebels against authority; and most frighteningly, her mother, seeing Annie as a "young lady," ceases to be the source of unconditional adoration and takes on the new and unfamiliar guise of adversary. At the end of her school years, Annie decides to leave Antigua and her family, but not without a measure of sorrow, especially for the mother she once knew and never ceases to mourn. "For I could not be sure," she reflects, "whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world."

ISBN_13:9781466837782
ISBN_10:1466837780

Quotes

If there was one thing I had learned from watching my mother, it was that God is always trying to find you.

Jamaica Kincaid

I was tired of pretending that I was someone else just to get along with people, just for the sake of having friendships.

Jamaica Kincaid

And so the feminist movement threw itself onto Annie John like a long silk scarf that the wearer, in a rushed, angry motion, decided to discard.

Jamaica Kincaid

Time stood still. It was as though the whole world stopped breathing.

Jamaica Kincaid

Now I know that if you open your eyes too wide and look too carefully at the world, you will get the feeling that something is wrong with it.

Jamaica Kincaid

I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.

Jamaica Kincaid

There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner.

Jamaica Kincaid

Here was a concrete example of why it was always better, especially for a young girl, to be ignorant.

Jamaica Kincaid

She thought I had spoiled myself by reading too much.

Jamaica Kincaid

Don't think I don't know what's been going on. I may not know details, but I know all about feelings.

Jamaica Kincaid