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Introduction & Overview of My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid

This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of My Brother.
This section contains 251 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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My Brother Summary & Study Guide Description

My Brother Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid.

Introduction

Many readers and critics had long suspected that Jamaica Kincaid's fiction was highly autobiographical, and the publication of My Brother, which was nominated for a National Book Award for non-fiction, confirmed those suspicions. Ostensibly inspired by the death of her younger brother Devon Drew from AIDS in 1996, this memoir is most striking for the way that Kincaid presents her own memories and thoughts about her family in light of this tragedy. While her relationship to Devon, who was just three when Kincaid left Antigua in 1966, is important to the book, it's her corrosive and wounded relationship to her mother that readers will remember.

My Brother has been widely praised, and occasionally criticized, for its striking style. Kincaid's sentences are full of short blunt words, but they're intricately constructed, often circling back on themselves in such a way that they mimic the disorderly way that human beings recall their most unsettling memories. Another hallmark of the book is its disarming honesty. Kincaid doesn't shy away from difficult feelings, anger chief among them. Devon's unhappy life is, Kincaid believes, the one she might have lived had she not left Antigua for The United States. Anna Quindlen, writing in the New York Times, observes: "Ultimately that is what that memoir is about, about the chasm between the self we might have been and the one that we have somehow, often inexplicably, become. It is about leaving, and leaving people behind, about being a stranger in your own home, to your own family."

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This section contains 251 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our My Brother Study Guide
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My Brother from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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