Author(s): Jamaica Kincaid
In this luminous, bewitching new novel Jamaica Kincaid tells the story of an ordinary man, his century, and his home. The island of Antigua comes vibrantly to life under the gaze of Mr Potter, an illiterate taxi chauffer who makes his living driving a navy blue Hillman along the wide-open roads that pass the only towns he has ever seen and the graveyard where he will be buried. The sun shines squarely overhead, the ocean lies on every side and suppressed passion fills the air. Kincaid conjures up a moving picture of Mr Potter's youth - beginning with memories of his father, a poor fisherman, and his mother, who committed suicide - and the outside world, that presses in on his life. Within these confines, Mr Potter struggles to live at ease: to buy his own car, to have girlfriends, to shake off the encumbrance of his many daughters, one of whom will return to Antigua after he dies, to tell his story with equal measures of distance and sympathy. In MrPotter Jamaica Kincaid brings alive a figure unlike any in contemporary fiction, an individual consciousness emerging gloriously out of an unexamined life to cast a long shadow.