Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Jamaica Kincaid's Girl. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Girl: Plot Summary
Girl: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Girl: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Jamaica Kincaid
Historical Context of Girl
Other Books Related to Girl
- Full Title: Girl
- When Written: 1978
- Where Written: New York City
- When Published: June 26, 1978 in The New Yorker; 1983 in At the Bottom of the River, Kincaid’s first collection of short stories and reflections
- Literary Period: Contemporary Literature; Postcolonial Caribbean Literature
- Genre: Short Fiction
- Setting: An unnamed Anglophone Caribbean island
- Climax: Mother asks the girl if she is “really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread.”
- Antagonist: Mother
- Point of View: Second-person
Extra Credit for Girl
Life at The New Yorker. William Shawn, editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, invited Kincaid to write for the magazine in 1974 after an impromptu meeting facilitated by her friends, staff writers George Trow and Ian Frazier. “Girl” was her first work of fiction published in the magazine. Five years later, Kincaid married Shawn’s son, the composer Allen Shawn.
Singing. Mother tells the girl not to sing benna, or calypso music. Kincaid, too, enjoyed singing and had a brief stint as a back-up singer for one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars,” Holly Woodlawn. Kincaid never sang lead because, she insists, she cannot really sing.