Annie John is a novel written by Jamaica Kincaid in 1985. The book revolves around Annie John, a young girl growing up in Antigua, an island in the Caribbean. Annie loves her mother and follows her around everywhere, which is why she is distressed at learning that one day she will have to live apart from her mother when she is married. Her mother sends her to a new school to learn how to become a lady but here Annie falls in love with a girl called Gwen. However, Annie later loses touch with Gwen when she is moved to a higher class due to her high intelligence. Annie suffers depression as a result of this and the book ends with Annie distancing herself from her family and friends by leaving home to attend Nursing school in England.
The book was written by the author to explore the challenges a young woman faces growing up, specifically in the Caribbean. The author wanted to explore how a young woman adapts to her circumstances and comes to face reality as she grows older. The author also wanted to explore same-sex relationships and how this can come to fruition.
The book has been received well by both critics and fans alike. In fact, the New York Times commented on the book, stating that it is "so touching and familiar it could be happening to any of us...and that's exactly the book's strength, its wisdom, its truth.” In addition, Susan Sontag has noted that Jamaica Kincaid is "an unaffectedly sumptuous, irresistible writer...thrilling".