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What to expect

The coming-of-age story of one of Jamaica Kincaid’s most admired creations

Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to North America to work as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children. Lewis and Mariah are a thrice-blessed couple—handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Yet, almost at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful façade. With mingled anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the assumptions and verities of her employers’ world and compares them with the vivid realities of her native place. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is.

At the same time that Lucy is coming to terms with Lewis’s and Mariah’s lives, she is also unraveling the mysteries of her own sexuality. Gradually a new person unfolds: passionate, forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character possessed with adamantine clear-sightedness and ferocious integrity—a captivating heroine for our time.

Critics Review

  • “Brilliant…Lucy confirms Ms. Kincaid as a both a daughter of Bronte and Woolf and her own inimitable self.”

    Wall Street Journal
  • “Beautifully precise prose…Leaves the reader with the unforgettable experience of having met a ferociously honest woman on her own uncompromising terms.”

    New York Times
  • “Spare, sure-footed…An austere and beautiful short novel. Lucy is the perfect vehicle for Kincaid’s complex blend of toughness and vulnerability, cold insights about class and color cut through with a sun-warmed sense of mother and place.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “A slim book but Kincaid has crafted it with a spare elegance that has brilliance in its very simplicity.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Strong in style and substance, dazzling with its sharp-edged prose, this is a novel no one should miss.”

    Library Journal
  • “[Lucy] is stunningly frank and indomitable, firmly following her path to wisdom. Kincaid continues to hone the poetic style of her acclaimed novel Annie John. Her prose is sensual, surprising, vibrant, and candid. Her characters are deep wells of emotions that we can draw from again and again.”


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