- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Format: Hardback | 192 pages
- Dimensions: 145mm x 213mm x 23mm | 318g
- Publication date: 5 February 2013
- ISBN 10: 0374180563
- ISBN 13: 9780374180560
- Edition: 1
- Edition statement: New.
- Sales rank: 279,242
In "See Now Then," the brilliant and evocative new novel from Jamaica Kincaid-her first in ten years-a marriage is revealed in all its joys and agonies. This piercing examination of the manifold ways in which the passing of time operates on the human consciousness unfolds gracefully, and Kincaid inhabits each of her characters-a mother, a father, and their two children, living in a small village in New England-as they move, in their own minds, between the present, the past, and the future: for, as she writes, "the present will be now then and the past is now then and the future will be a now then." Her characters, constrained by the world, despair in their domestic situations. But their minds wander, trying to make linear sense of what is, in fact, nonlinear. "See Now Then "is Kincaid's attempt to make clear what is unclear, and to make unclear what we assumed was clear: that is, the beginning, the middle, and the end. Since the publication of her first short-story collection, "At the Bottom of the River," which was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Kincaid has demonstrated a unique talent for seeing beyond and through the surface of things. In "See Now Then," she envelops the reader in a world that is both familiar and startling-creating her most emotionally and thematically daring work yet.
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Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John's, Antigua. Her books include "At the Bottom of the River," "Annie John," "Lucy," "The Autobiography of My Mother," "My Brother," and "Mr. Potter," all published by FSG. She lives with her family in Vermont.
Praise for "See Now Then""Writers make uncomfortable kin . . . There's a reflex in every writer that trumps even the maternal instinct, a part of her that, even while her newborn suckles at her breast, is cold-eyed, choosing words to describe the pit-bull clamp of its gums, the crusted globe of its skull, with the same dispassion which she might describe fellow passengers on a bus . . . The intimate treachery, the permanent duality that this entails . . . are lucidly examined in Jamaica Kincaid's latest novel . . . Kincaid has the gift of endowing common experience with a mythic ferocity... [She] is one of our most scouringly vivid writers." --Fernanda Eberstadt, "New York Times Book Review" "Chaucer's Wife of Bath meets Virginia Woolf! . . . With the intensity of Virginia Woolf, Kincaid creates a palimpsest of time past, time present and time future . . . Mrs. Sweet in these pages makes a verbal symphony . . . Kincaid's attempt to capture living itself may just be, as she puts it, 'always just out of reach, ' but her talent for trying remains palpable on every page . . . Connoisseurs will find it delicious." --Alan Cheuse, "Chicago Tribune," Book of the Month Most readers feel protective of that little unit, the family. When it breaks, as it so often does and most certainly will in this story, we experience the tragedy . . . Was it ever any different? Did Mr. Sweet, who so utterly resembles the absent-minded Mr. Ramsay from Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse," ever truly love Mrs. Sweet, a modern-day Mrs. Ramsay--the mother who struggles every day to save her family from destruction, or just unhappiness?" --Susan Salter Reynolds, "Newsday" ""See Now Then" is a hurricane of a book, a novel of psychic bewilderment and seething inaction that relentlessly defines and redefines the sense of otherness and displacement that is the permanent legacy of slavery and colonialism. An existential crisis if there ever was one, Jamaica Kincaid mines it wit