Mr. Potter

Book Details
May 17, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Kincaid toys with simple blocks of language like she’s Gertrude Stein, using the repetition of image-bits to build a lulling rhythm. The first sentence uses one phrase — ”the sun was in its usual place, up above and in the middle of the sky” — four times. This is the language of the title character’s daughter, an Antiguan woman who imagines the impoverished childhood and inner life of the father she hardly knows. Sometimes her lilting language gains intensity and reaches lush poetry, and sometimes it is a numbingly circular bore: ”See the small boy asleep in a slumber so deep, seamlessly still, his body seems stilled, but not in death, not in the life of death, his body is stilled yet moving with stillness….”

Mr. Potter

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Mr. Potter

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