“My Garden (Book)” by Jamaica Kincaid
Wednesday March 30, 6 PM.
This month’s title is “My Garden (Book)” by Jamaica Kincaid with discussion leader Rachael Cohen. This is the 3rd book in our “Farms & Gardens” series which is sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council and hosted by the Arvin A. Brown Library of Richford and the Montgomery Town Library. This meeting is also made possible by support from the Covered Bridges Garden Club of Montgomery. Books for this discussion are available at both libraries and will take place at the Montgomery Library.
“Kincaid blends a fertile inner life, botanical and colonial history, gardening lore, and her long gardening experience to create a rich, rewarding read. She contrasts the colonial specimen plants of the botanical garden of St. John’s, in her native Antigua, with the wild, unruly garden she’s created at her current home in Vermont. This garden, says Kincaid, reflects her passions and interests. “When it dawned on me that the garden I was making… resembled a map of the Caribbean and the sea that surrounds it… I only marveled at the way a garden is for me an exercise in memory, a way of getting to a past that is my own.” Kincaid is a hopeful, imaginative gardener who lazily pages through catalogs during the long Vermont winters and plans trips to China, Giverney, and Sissinghurst to further feed her passion for plants. “I wanted a garden that looked like something I had in my mind’s eye, but exactly what that might be I did not know. And this must be why: the garden for me is so bound up with words about the garden, with words themselves, that any set idea of the garden, any set picture, is a provocation to me.” Is her ideal possible? “I shall never have the garden I have in my mind but that for me is the joy of it; certain things can never be realized so all the more reason to attempt them.” ” – Library Journal
Rachael Cohen is a freelance editor specializing in environmental and regional studies. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Environmental Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute/Lesley University. She teaches literature and creative writing for the University of Michigan’s New England Literature Program, held each spring at a camp in Maine, as well as offering Elderhostel classes in regional literature and nature writing.
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