At the Bottom of the River

Jamaica Kincaid

07 July 2022
80 pages


At the Bottom of the River is Jamaica Kincaid’s first published work, a selection of inter-connected prose poems told from the perspective of a young Afro-Caribbean girl.

Collecting pieces written for the New Yorker and the Paris Review between 1978 and 1982, including the seminal ‘Girl’, these stunning works announced a fully-formed, generational talent and firmly established the themes that Kincaid would continue to return to in her later work: the loss of childhood, the fractious nature of mother–daughter relationships, the intangible beauty of the natural world, and the striving for independence in a colonial landscape.

Powerful and lyrical, this is an unforgettable collection from a unique and necessary literary voice.

Part of the Picador Collection, a new series showcasing the best of modern literature.

This book will burn on your shelf. It is too choked with love to incite envy, too humble for admiration, and still too startling to escape astonishment
What a writer – elegant, uncompromising, simultaneously direct and layered and complex.
I’ve read everything by Jamaica Kincaid, and I’ve still never read anyone like her. If you are new to Kincaid, I envy you