I’ve assigned Girl by Jamaica Kinkaid because we’re looking at the way people use their own lives for material. Years back when I read that piece, I sympathized with the daughter, but now I sympathize with the mother which is not what Kinkaid intents, I think. I assigned it because we’re talking about images, the way we use images to create little movies in our readers’ minds. Girl is simply image after image. Images of Antigua. When I read Girl, I see Antigua. I see the little girls in their blue skirts and white blouses, walking past our house in St. John’s with school books under their arms. Today I’ll talk a little about Antigua only getting its independence from Great Britain in 1980, but I don’t think I’ll mention the fact that Chuck and I were there then. That Chuck helped the opposition party set up a printing press. That we were arrested and deported. I told Chuck last night that sometimes when I talk about my life I feel like I’m making stuff up.
The man in the picture above is the press operator.