Margot Mifflin
November 05, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

My Brother: A Memoir

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jamaica Kincaid
genre
Memoir

We gave it an A-

My Brother packs the familial subplots of novelist Kincaid?s life into the story of her younger brother?s 1996 death from AIDS. Kincaid knew Devon for the first and last three years of his life; she returned to her native Antigua to visit him at his sickbed in the early ?90s and saw in his aimless existence and hideously protracted death a fright wig: ?His life is the one I did not have,? she reflects, ?the life that?I avoided or escaped.? This blunt fusion of memoir and memorial succeeds until the closing pages, when Kincaid?s fascination with herself as a writer eclipses the memory of her brother.

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