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Friday, May 27, 2005

Jamaica In The Himalayas

The Sunday Times (UK) reviews what seems like a promising new book by Jamaica Kincaid: Among Flowers. It's an account of a "walk in the Himalayas" and what's intriguing is that nothing in the Vermont-based, Antigua-born writer's previous oeuvre suggests that she would embark on such a journey. The Times' reviewer says:

"This is no botanist’s treatise but travel writing at its best, and Kincaid knows well that a book about places benefits from an abundance of detail and few descriptions of panoramas. She remarks on the children whose hair had been black but has become blonde through the lack of some essential nutrient; she wonders at bamboo bridges swaying over raging torrents; she notices marijuana growing wild and people smoking it. It is not long before the party encounters Maoist guerrillas, fanatics who kill their compatriots but are reputed to spare foreigners. 'Nothing can be more disturbing,' Kincaid writes, 'than sleeping in a village under the control of people who may or may not let you live.' "

(Trivia: Kincaid, formerly staff writer with
The New Yorker, happens to be married to composer Allen Shawn, son of the legendary William Shawn, former editor of the magazine.)


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