Let the Finger Pointing Begin

by deenaliguori

If you are the typical tourist who goes to foreign countries and like to enjoy yourself by exploring other cultures then A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid is the book for you. Kincaid is an Antiguan native who expresses her views of Antigua to the average tourist.  Kincaid was born in Antigua and moved to the United States at the age of 16. At times she is abrupt and in your face and questions your thoughts as a traveler. This book will have you second guessing yourself and what you truly do not think nor see when you are too busy vacationing. Kincaid also writes in depth about the Antigua she knew growing up and what really lies behind the spectacular beauty of the small island. Through Kincaid’s opinions and thoughts of the Antigua she knew and what it has become she gets you thinking about the life you live and how lucky you are.

One of the first things you notice when you open the book and begin to read is that the book is divided into four parts. What may be confusing for some reader is that the “chapters” have no titles, but simply faint black and white pictures of Antigua. I found this unique as it was something I have never seen done before. Kincaid’s imagery for example when she speaks about the clear blue ocean or the vast countryside is truly impressive. When reading I even looked up Antigua on the computer. It seemed so beautiful and too good to be true that I had to see an actual photo to believe it. The tone in this book is like no other. Throughout this book you will find yourself stopping and thinking about what Kincaid describes. The way Kincaid attacks you through this book is a bit much but she does manage to get her points across well. In this book you will feel like the finger is always being pointed at you and you are always wrong, which can be a bit frustrating at times.  Like when Kincaid brings up the point that all tourists are ugly, let’s face it who is she to say that? This book not only gives you an in depth look at Antigua but questions you in ways you never truly would as a tourist.

I felt at times it was hard to continue reading when Kincaid was expressing her views, and being hypocritical. She came off as too strong, and I felt she could have expressed her thoughts in a different softer tone than always making us, the average tourist feel like such a bad people. I do feel Kincaid has many true facts about tourists and how oblivious they can be to the realities of its people. Maybe if she went about writing her book in a different way rather than always making us the reader feel at fault then maybe this would have been a great book to recommend.






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