Quotes from Annie John

Jamaica Kincaid ·  160 pages

Rating: (5.3K votes)


“Like father like son, like mother like daughter!”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“My unhappiness was something deep inside me, and when i closed my eyes i could even see it. it sat somehwere - maybe in my belly, maybe in my heart; i could not exactly tell - and it took the shape of a small black ball, all wrapped up in cobwebs. i would look at it and look at it until i had burned the cobwebs away, and then i would see that the ball was no bigger than a thimble, even though it weighed worlds. at that moment, just when i saw its size and felt its weight, i was beyond feeling sorry for myself, which is to say i was beyond tears. i could only just sit and look at myself, feeling like the oldest person who had ever lived and who had not learned a single thing.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“The word 'slut' (in patois) was repeated over and over, until suddenly I felt as if I were drowning in a well but instead of the well being filled with water it was filled with the word 'slut,' and it was pouring in through my eyes, my ears, my nostrils, my mouth. As if to save myself, I turned to her and said, 'Well, like father like son, like mother like daughter.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“Out of the corner of one eye, I could see my mother. Out of the corner of the other eye, I could see her shadow on the wall, cast there by the lamp-light. It was a big and solid shadow, and it looked so much like my mother that I became frightened. For I could not be sure whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“I was afraid of the dead, as was everyone I knew. We were afraid of the dead because we never could tell when they might show up again.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John



“She always said that she respected and liked us all equally, and I have to say that that attitude didn't go down well with me, accustomed as I was to being singled out and held up in a special way.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“For instance, the headmistress, Miss Moore. I knew right away that she had come to Antigua from England, for she looked like a prune left out of its jar a long time and she sounded as if she had borrowed her voice from an owl. The way she said, "Now, girls. . ." When she was just standing still there, listening to some of the other activities, her gray eyes going all around the room hoping to see something wrong, her throat would beat up and down as if a fish fresh out of water were caught up inside.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“I began to feel alternately too big and too small. First, I grew so big that I took up the whole street; then I grew so small that nobody could see me — not even if I cried out.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“Out of the corner of one eye, I could see my mother. Out of the corner of the other eye, I could see her shadow on the wall, cast there by the lamplight. It was a big and solid shadow, and it looked so much like my mother that I became frightened. For I could not be sure whether for the rest of my life I would be able to tell when it was really my mother and when it was really her shadow standing between me and the rest of the world.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“When I looked at them, they made up a sea.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John



“She smelled sometimes of lemons, sometimes of sage, sometimes of roses, sometimes of bay leaf. At times I would no longer hear what it was she was saying; I just liked to look at her mouth as it opened and closed over words, or as she laughed. How terrible it must be for all the people who had no one to love them so and no one whom they loved so, I thought.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“I went back to my cabin and lay down on my berth. Everything trembled as if it had a spring at its very center. I could hear the small waves lap-lapping around the ship. They made an unexpected sound, as if a vessel filled with liquid had been placed on its side and now was slowly emptying out.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


“I loved very much - and so used to torment until she cried - a girl named Sonia.”
― Jamaica Kincaid, quote from Annie John


About the author

Jamaica Kincaid
Born place: in St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda
Born date May 25, 1949
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