The aim of this post is to invite you to attend some of the talks/readings offered by the great literary event our town offers all its citizens. Great English-speaking writers are attending this event and I am sure that both bookworms and non would highly benefit from listening to them. It would give you a sense of achievement because, though the talks are translated into Italian, you can still listen to the writer and somehow practise your English. Then it is a great opportunity listening to topnotch and world-renowned writers, an opportunity I did not have at your age. If you want to get a taste of the authors who are coming to Pordenonelegge, click here, Ms. Cimetta created an interesting post for us all.
The cob, symbol of this year’s Pordenonelegge, may symbolize the love for reading lots of us share. Let’s have a taste of this together by getting to know one of the writers I am personally eager to listen to and read and hope you will like too.
Watch the following video about Jamaica Kinkaid created by a student. Since the audio may not be clear enough for you to understand it, follow the guidelines below which may somehow help you focus on the most relevant aspects of the author’s life and background.
- Country and date of birth
- Events that left a mark in the relationship with her mother
- Consequences of her job experience as an au pair in the USA
- “Thought it always existed and always will” (What does she refer to?)
- Major themes of her works
- Success as a writer
- Her life now
Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
- It is easier to be a girl than a boy in this world.
- Gender roles are pretty similar no matter what place you come from.
- Gender roles are pretty similar from generation to generation.
- Race plays a part in the way you are supposed to act.
You are going to read a text called GIRL, included in the anthology The Story and its writer: an Introduction to Short Fiction, 2003. The context is Antigua in the 50’s.
- While reading, think of possible answers to the following questions:
-Who is speaking? To whom?
-Why don’t either of these characters have names?
-Is the girl really “bent on becoming a slut” or is that just her mother’s fear?
-Is the daughter listening to any of this?
-What intrigues you about this story?
-What catches your attention?
- Spot the following themes, ideas and arguments in the text and highlight them in different colours:
1. mother-daughter relationship
2. cultural rules and expectations
3. stereotyping of women; what does it mean to be a “slut”?
4. sex roles for men and women, boys and girls
5. colonialism: how might the characters be affected by living under British rule?
6. folk remedies (“a good medicine to throw away a child…”) versus Western medicine
8. assimilation (playing by the rules versus challenging/changing them)
-Do you identify with the girl in this story? Why?
-If you are female, what experiences or advice helped you become a young woman?
-If you are male, what experiences and advice do you think helped your sisters, girlfriends to become women?
-If you could interview the writer, what questions would you ask her?
Now watch an interview by a Time Magazine journalist and make notes on some extra information about the author and her themes.
If you attend the event on Sunday, pay attention and write down the questions Jamaica Kinkaid will be asked during the interview. 🙂
These two quotations may add to your curiosity of getting to know a bit about this writer.