Information for tourists!

by justineb89

Jamaica Kincaid, a native Antiguan, acts as a reader’s tour guide through the picturesque sights and fascinating history of A Small Place, Antigua.  Kincaid is a very passionate tour guide, who is an enormous wealth of information on Antiguan past, both as a colony of the British Empire and after its independence as a post-colonial state struggling to find stability. She demonstrates no inhabitations and is quite brutally honest, almost to the point of offence, regarding the treatment of Antigua, and Antiguans by the British colonists.

However then goes on to explain the backwardness of Antigua seen presently, Kincaid does this most effectively through the description of the library. As the library was built during colonial times and up kept nicely until and earthquake in 1974 caused great damage to the structure, which has never been repaired. Kincaid uses this example to illustrate the “corruption, of things gone bad” (42).

Furthermore, an author can easily take every time Kincaid says “Antigua” or “Antiguan” and place any other British or European colony in its place. As Kincaid’s take on colonialism is similar to the stories of many other post-colonial society’s struggling with poverty and government corruption.

Moreover I do not suggest readers to take this book, on vacation if they plan on staying in all-inclusive resort in Mexico, Cuba or the Caribbean, as it may ruin your trip. As within the first pages she describes a “North American (or worse) European” tourist as “ an ugly human being”, this is not a description I would want to give myself if I were sipping Mai Tai’s at the Sandals resort in Jamaica. It is, however a book, I would definitely suggest reading before making arrangements for an upcoming vacation, as it will give information about Antigua or any other post-colonial state, that no travel agency will dare tell their clients.


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