Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately

Little blue skirts

press operatorI’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.


Categories: Chuck Willer, politics, teaching, teaching writing, writing

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Sounds like great material for a story of your own. I’m hooked.

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