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Lucy
Cover of Lucy
Lucy
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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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Jamaica Kincaid, born in St. John's, Antigua, is the author of short stories, novels, and nonfiction. Her 2013 novel See Now Then was a New York Times bestseller. A former reporter for the New Yorker magazine, she is a professor of literature at Claremont-McKenna College in California.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 1, 1990
    Kincaid ( At the Bottom of the River ; Annie John ) has with this novel created an insouciant yet vulnerable narrator in the person of Lucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies who works as an au pair for a seemingly happy family in an unidentified city that one assumes is New York. Lucy is fascinated with her discoveries about American life--``At first it was all so new that I had to smile with my mouth turned down at the corners''--and with Mariah, Lewis and their four golden little daughters. Their pleasure in life intrigues Lucy, who observes, ``Even when a little rain fell, they would admire the way it streaked through the blank air.'' Lucy has renounced her own family and past, but at the same time she paradoxically expresses culturally imbued views with arrogance. She sees the world around her with both awe and contempt, and maintains a unique dead certainty about how people are. Her own sexual exploits seem more mysterious to her than the deterioration of Lewis and Mariah's marriage, which she presciently and detachedly observes. This is a slim book but Kincaid has crafted it with a spare elegance that has brilliance in its very simplicity. Lucy's is a haunting voice, and Kincaid's originality has never been more evident. First serial to the New Yorker; Literary Guild selection.

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