Jamaica Kincaid, author of Annie John, writes of gardens and gardeners in her most insightful and engaging book to date. In My Garden (Book), Jamaica gathers all she loves about gardening and examines it generously, passionately, and with sharp, idiosyncratic discrimination. Kincaid's affections are matched in intensity only by her dislikes. She loves spring and summer, but not winter, which is so unremittingly white. She adores rhododendron Jane Grant and appreciates ordinary Blue Lake string beans, but abhors the Asiatic lily and dreams of ways to trap small plant-eating animals. The sources of her inspiration-seed catalogues (the glossy ones and, even better, the nonglossy ones), legendary gardeners such as Gertrude Jekyll and Graham Stuart Thomas, famous gardens like Monet's at Giverny and Vita Sackville-West's at Sissinghurst-receive keen scrutiny. She also examines the idea of the garden on Antigua, where one of her favorite school subjects was botany, and considers the implications of the English formal garden in colonized countries; and she visits historic English gardens on English soil. My Garden (Book) is an intimate, playful, and penetrating book on gardens, the plants that fill them, and the gardeners who tend them. Illustrations Jamaica Kincaid's most recent book (as editor) is an anthology of writing on plants, My Favorite Plant (FSG, 1998). She lives in Vermont with her husband and children, and teaches at Harvard University.
Literature & Fiction, World Literature, United States,