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Publisher's 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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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.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

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

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Past or Future?

This audio book, A Small Place, from the summary seemed a narrative about Antigua island. While it is about Antigua, it is mostly a complaint, sarcasm and anger towards the socio-economic conditions of Antigua.

While I feel bad for the island of Antigua, the history that Antigua has gone through is similar to the history of India and other similar colonized countries have gone through. Interestingly, when we visited London, I realized, life was kind of difficult if not miserable for common people in the past even within the UK making it seem that humans in the past were plain barbaric. History has a lot in common than not, like it or not. We can learn from history and use those learnings to grow and get better, for ourselves and our future generations as that is probably the only way for any possible progress. I genuinely feel sorry for the author to be so over burdened by past.

Also, I am new to Jamaica Kincaid and her work so I read about her on Wikipedia assuming she lives in Antigua especially given her essay, it seemed like she was probably in Antigua doing great works, contributing to the greater good, trying to uplift the lives of others around her using her education and intelligence. To my surprise, she has lived and continues to live in the US. Somehow, this seems ironical as she lives in the part of the world and around the people whom she seems to openly detest.

Lastly, history is sad and there is a lot of hatred in the world as such. As the famous saying goes, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. So I wonder, would we teach to hate or to love, to fear or to hope, to our future generations. And, I truly believe that the biggest success of living a life is to intentionally become the best version of ourselves and living by our strengths rather than weaknesses. The peace of being able to live such a life is indeed the highest victory to anyone!

P.S. Narration by Robin Miles deserves a mention. Her intonation was apt. One of the good narrators I have heard to.

1 person found this helpful

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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!💙❎

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Not really what I have expected

The beginning of the book was promising. It was interesting to hear the part "if you are a tourist in Antigua, you probably..." and then 2 points of view: the foreigner tourist and the local person. But then lots of nagging and claims for the government and corruption spoiled everything.
I'm not sure what I have expected from this book... probably some sort of description of how to live and grow-up on a small island like Antigua from inside. And maybe, just maybe, the book really shows the inside of this country. But for me, it was like the talk between 2 old neighbours, who just blame all around and especially the top of the corrupted government, recalling how it was in old times. Everything is bad, becomes worse and no escape. This is the idea.
After listening to this book I still have no clue who Antiguans are, what is the sense of their living, what are their unique features, passions, and thoughts. The only thing I found out from the book: they hate tourists and hate their government, and in both cases the reason is envy. IMHO, these characteristics are not enough, but the book does not give us anything else.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Samantha Wharton
  • 11-05-20

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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  • Natalie
  • 02-28-22

Happy I Finally Read It

As someone of full Caribbean blood, I found this to be essential reading although my family is from another ‘Small Island’. I will be recommending it to others of my generation who may appreciate the brilliantly painted perspective and history outlined.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Katita
  • 03-16-22

A delight to listen

This book is grounded in the love of Antiguan people and culture, for the place and the memories with strong critique of how coloniality shapes the "small place".
The performance is fantastic. I enjoyed listening.

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  • Bernard Michael
  • 03-06-22

Shocking!

Loved it. Surprising what turbulence lies beneath the surface of such a tranquil beautiful island.

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  • B G
  • 03-03-22

Beautiful

Simply beautiful! A small place puts into words the pain, hurt and beauty of a little island in the West Indies. Brilliant narration.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-22

Interesting read

The narrator did an exceptional job! I followed every emotion and could not stop listening till the end!

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  • Dean
  • 01-18-22

Engaging

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

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  • eleniki
  • 01-08-22

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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  • Beyala
  • 10-08-21

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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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-17-21

A Caribbean Classic

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