This essay argues that we should read Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place as part of a larger recurrence and metamorphosis of the epic on a global scale, a new genre that grapples with the economic and spatial conditions of our contemporary age by combining formal innovations with classical tropes in its attempt to circumscribe a world of ever-increasing complexity. Only in recognizing A Small Place as a text that aspires to envision a culture in its totality—that is, as an epic—can we make sense of its pioneering strategies of representation. By showing the many hidden relations between the centers and the peripheral small places of our time, Kincaid maps a new globalized world that we are only beginning to come to terms with.

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