Jamaica Kincaid

1995

Jamaica Kincaid, the seventh author featured in the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series, visited Marygrove College on April 28, 1995.

Novelist, essayist, and short story writer, Kincaid was born May 25, 1949, in St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies. She emigrated to the United States, became a U.S. citizen, and married composer Allen Shawn. Kincaid changed her name from Elaine Potter Richardson to Jamaica Kincaid in 1973.

The 1983 publication of her book of short stories, At the Bottom of the River, marked Kincaid’s arrival as an important new voice in American fiction.  For that work she received the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983.

Since then Kincaid has become a prominent figure in American literature.  She credits the United States as the place where "I did find myself and did find my voice . . .what I really feel about America is that it’s given me a place to be myself--but myself as I was formed somewhere else."

On Saturday morning, April 29, 1995, Kincaid was honored at a breakfast hosted by John Shay, then President of Marygrove.  She also met in a 90-minute question and answer session with students enrolled in a one-credit hour course on the works of Jamaica Kincaid.

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