Performance and the Gendered Body in Jamaica Kincaid's 'Girl' and Oonya Kempadoo's Buxton Spice
Jamaica Kincaid's compact and succinct story 'Girl,' the lead story in the collection At the Bottom of the River (1983), has been lauded as one of the premier works in Kincaid's corpus, particularly her discourse on the making of 'woman' in postcolonial Caribbean contexts. The text is essentially a set of instructions offered by an adult (assumed to be a mother), laying out the script for the performance of womanhood in the fictional society in which the female child is expected to live and perform her gender. 'Girl''s emphasis on performative acts reiterates the inextricable link between gender and performance. Undoubtedly, this landmark Kincaid story is in dialogue with Butler's theorization of the centrality of stylized acts in the creating and crafting of gendered selves.