Sunday, September 1, 2013

See Now Then

See Now Then, the first novel in ten years from Jamaica Kincaid, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in this lucky year of 2013. Design by Charlotte Strick. Author photo by Jeff Wheeler.

Here is a good short passage from the middle 

"So then, in grief, Mrs. Sweet imposed on herself a great silence, and she made a world of it, this silence, and this world was made up of silence: no words could be heard if spoken; no food could have taste if eaten; the skunk, which is not in the rodent family, could not be seen on the endlessly expanding road in twilight as it was run over by a motorcar, and its foul stink, which is often essential in perfumes designated to mask the foul stink of the human body, fell into this silence. A great silence: a silence so great that it was beyond capitalization!  In her grief, she grew fat and debauched-looking, like the actor Charles Laughton and also his wife the actress Elsa Lanchester, she grew to look like them as they appeared in real life or their impersonations, it did not matter, to her or to anyone observing the situation. Then, a great silence overcame Mrs. Sweet and she wept and wept and then wept some more and after that, she turned her world black with ice, for Mr. Sweet had taken her daughter and placed her in the pocket of his jacket, the one that his wife had purchased from the Brooks Brothers outlet store in Manchester, not the one that was identical to the one his own father wore and that was purchased from J. Press on Madison Avenue, and he kept her there for a long time and for all that time Mrs. Sweet never saw the sun shining."