Kincaid's work is strongly autobiographical. In her first novel, Annie John, published in 1985, she describes the childhood of Annie John and her relationship with her mother as she grows up on the island of Antigua. Annie John's experiences are a mirror of Kincaid's as a girl. Annie describes what she considers as a moment of betrayal by her mother with the shock of her first menstruation. She describes her mother as a serpent - an image of betrayal...
I started to menstruate...
This feeling of betrayal echoes Kincaid's experiences at this
time when her mother seemed to give more importance to her sons
and their futures, and to ignore the possibility that Kincaid
herself had any chance of equalling their success, despite being
a very good student... Kincaid describes this experience in
her second novel Lucy. Lucy has left her family to be an au
pair, a kind of domestic servant, to a New York family. Again
the events described are strongly linked to events in Kincaid's
My father did not know me...
Annie John (1985), Vintage
Lucy (1991), Plume Contemporary Fiction
My Garden Book (1999), Harper Collins