A Small Place

A Small Place Study Guide

Published in 1988, A Small Place is a novel by Jamaica Kincaid. It is set in Antigua, the island where she was born and raised before she came to the United States at her mother's wish. The book was critically well-received, although also mildly controversial for its unfailingly candid perspective on the wrongdoings of the tourism industry.

A Small Place is an unusual novel in that it is written in the second-person perspective, placing the reader, "You", as a tourist who has arrived in Antigua, with Kincaid's voice, the narrator, speaking to you directly. The narrator is a unique force in the story: sometimes, Kincaid merely describes the scenery; sometimes, she provides her own outlook on it; but she also aggressively targets the reader, asking them critical, thought-provoking questions. For this reason, A Small Place is a book that does not merely seek to tell a story, but also fully and completely immerse the reader in the scenes of Antigua.

A Small Place received good reviews from critics. However, it was banned in Antigua for five years for Kincaid's critical and outspoken nature in writing it.