Small Place
Jamaica Kincaid

Book cover image

Narrated By: Robin Miles

Duration: 1 hour and 48 minutes

What to expect

From the award-winning author of Annie John comes a brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua.

“If you go to Antigua as a tourist, this is what you will see. If you come by aeroplane, you will land at the V. C. Bird International Airport. Vere Cornwall (V. C.) Bird is the prime minister of Antigua. You may be the sort of tourist who would wonder why a prime minister would want an airport named after him—why not a school, why not a hospital, why not some great public monument. You are a tourist and you have not yet seen …”

So begins Jamaica Kincaid’s expansive essay, which shows us what we have not yet seen of the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up.

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies.


Biography: writers, Biography: general, Gender studies: women and girls, Biography: general, Ethnic studies, History of the Americas

Listen to a sample

“A jeremiad of great clarity and force that one might have called torrential were the language not so finely controlled.”

Salman Rushdie, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Ms. Kincaid writes with…a poet’s understanding of how politics and history, private and public events, overlap and blur.”

New York Times

“A rich and evocative prose that is also both urgent and poetic…Kincaid is a witness to what is happening in our West Indian back yards.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Wonderful reading…Tells more about the Caribbean in eighty pages than all the guidebooks.”

Philadelphia Inquirer

“In truly lyrical language that makes you read aloud, [Kincaid] takes you from the dizzying blue of the Caribbean to the sewage of hotels and clubs where black Antiguans are only allowed to work…Truth, wisdom, insight, outrage, and cutting wit.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Kincaid continues to write with a unique, compelling voice that cannot be found anywhere else. Her small books are worth a pile of thicker—and hollower—ones.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Kincaid’s essay about her home island of Antigua is honest, sharp, and beautiful…It’s the best kind of place-based writing: complicated and many-layered. Kincaid articulates many truths—about racism and resort communities and the things that visitors often chose not to see about places they visit—in a short and very readable book.”


“This electrifying work is a new classic in the literature of hate—and of love, for a tortured land and for the possibility, albeit dim, of changing things.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Kincaid…asks us to grasp the crime of empire in a new way, stressing that it can be understood only from a post-colonial point of view.”