Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guggenheim Fellowship Award 1985

Jamaica Kincaid won the Guggenheim Fellowship Award in 1985 for fiction.

Excerpt: History of the Award:

Established in 1925 by former United States Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim, in memory of seventeen-year-old John Simon Guggenheim, the elder of their two sons, who died April 26, 1922, the Foundation has sought from its inception to "add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding," as the Senator explained in his initial Letter of Gift (March 26, 1925).

Island in the Sun

Alec Waugh's name comes up in Jamaica Kincaid's, A Small Place.
Kincaid is refering to 1951 British Holiday Magazine

The Antiguans are a fascinating mixture of imported Africa and Colonial England, and still retain fetishes of the bush. 'Is a good moon for planting Tannias' they tell you. The moon rules their lives ...their belief in Obeah...a kind of necromancy persists (259)
One of Alec's novels was adapted to film:
Island in the Sun 1957 Farley Hills, Barbados (Mansion is now burned down)
Film adaptation of Waugh's novel. Interracial and class struggle theme.
The Loom of Youth (1917) Reflections on his education and school years. His first semi-autobiographical novel wrote openly about homosexual encounters between boys and caused him to be expelled from the exclusive old boys society (The Old Shirburnian Society)

Alec Waugh: British World Traveler and Writer
 Alexander Raban Waugh (Alec Waugh) (8 July 1898 – 3 September 1981),

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jamaica Kincaid at Literary Festival in Antigua (2006)

Wordpress blog
Photographs and captions from the above blog: Wadadli Pen
Joanne C. Hillhouse author of The Boy From Willow Bend
A reading by Jamaica Kincaid, in Antigua, as rare as...as...rain in drought season

...but, boy, are there; pictured at the first fest in 2006 are (standing) S. E. James, Marie Elena John, Rosalyn Simon, and me; and (sitting, from left) Althea Prince, Akilah Jardine, and Jamaica Kincaid

Antigua's youngest writer at the time, Akilah Jardine, signing copies alongside it's best known writer, Jamaica Kincaid.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jamaica Kincaid and Hip Hop Culture?

Harvard Gazette

Hip Hop Harvard

Kincaid listens...
I remember thinking: Why do boys dress like this?” observed panelist-critic Jamaica Kincaid, a novelist who watched the early blooming of rap while writing for the Village Voice and The New Yorker in the 1970s. But then droopy pants and backward ball caps penetrated white culture in the suburbs, she said, puzzling parents with the fact that “the children they love are influenced by people they despise.”
Kincaid grew to “adore” the authenticity of girl rappers like Lil’ Kim, a fixture in the 1990s, and at the same time she noted the present “authentic inauthenticity” of a performer like Lady Gaga. “Now white children like black children,” she said, “and are pretending to be black children.”

At 16 Kincaid Left -not sent from- Antigua

Rollins link
"Winters with the Writers" http://www.rollins.edu/winterwiththewriters/previousyears/2008-season.html
Jamaica Kincaid was born in 1949 in St. John’s, Antigua. As an only child, Kincaid maintained a close relationship with her mother until the age of nine, when the first of her three brothers were born. At the age of 16, with a growing ambivalence for her family and a rising contempt for the subservience of the Antiguans to British colonialist rule, Kincaid left Antigua, bound for New York. After working for three years and taking night classes at a community college, Kincaid won a full scholarship to Franconia College in New Hampshire. However, after a year of feeling “too old to be a student,” Kincaid dropped out of school, returned to New York, and secured a job writing interviews for a teenage girls’ magazine.

Jamaica Kincaid Awards and Honorary Degrees

•Induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009)

•Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2004)

•Prix Femina Étranger (2000)

•Anifield-Wolf Book Award (1997)

•Finalist PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (1997)

•Lila-Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Award (1994)

•Guggenheim Fellowship (1989)

•Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for Fiction (1985)

•Finalist for prestigious Ritz Paris Hemingway Award (1985)

•Finalist PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (1984)

•Anifield-Wolf Book Award (1977)

•Honorary Degrees from:

Middlebury College (1998)

Bard College (1997)

Amherst College (1995)

Long Island College (1991)

Williams College (1991)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jamaica Kincaid in Rome, Italy

Noted writer Jamaica Kincaid visited the American Academy for an event co-sponsored by the US Embassy Rome and its Cultural Attaché David Mees. Here Kincaid read from her 1990 novel Lucy to a capacity audience, and then answered questions on her past and current work in a rich discussion. Jamaica Kincaid was in Rome in conjunction with the city’s 9th Festival Internazionale delle Letterature, for which she read the following day at the Basilica of Maxentius in the Forum.

Introducing Kincaid, US Ambassador to Italy David H. Thorne

Above, Jamaica Kincaid in audience discussion. Below, from left, Kincaid, AAR Heiskell Arts Director Martin Brody, Alice Waters

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fadiman Medal Awarded to Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid wins award on April 2010

This year's Clifton Fadiman Medal was presented to Jamaica Kincaid for her coming of age novel Annie John. The award, established by the Center for Fiction in 2000, recognizes a book worthy of "rediscovery and wider readership." Novelist Jane Smiley served as the 2010 judge and presenter of the award. Kincaid received the medal at a ceremony held at the Center for Fiction and the organization's director, Noreen Tomassi, spoke about the award and introduced the two novelists.(Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres)

Mr Potter is

Mr Potter is silenced: "Bitter Fruit" Maya Jaggi The Guardian UK

The tension between historical understanding and personal animus is never resolved. Writing becomes revenge; telling someone else's story can be a means of silencing them. At its worst, Elaine's voice is vindictive and self-aggrandising. Mordant irony no doubt drives Kincaid's description of the island's people as being of "no account". Yet rather than dignifying the lives of the "no account" people that it describes, this novel seems to bask in the author's godlike power: not so much to give life, as to withhold it. The effect, far from being humane, is sour and self-regarding.

San Francisco Chronicle: My Brother

Meredith Maran

My Brother is not, in fact, about Kincaid’s brother. It’s about life and death. It’s about how economic and emotional poverty corrode the body and the soul. It’s about the sticky tentacles that tie brothers to sisters, mothers to daughters, adults to their childhoods, people to where they come from–no matter how far they stray; no matter how desperately they try to escape.

Most of all, My Brother is about Jamaica Kincaid. Unshrouded, here, by the thin veil of fiction she’s draped around her disclosures in the past, Kincaid emerges naked–with her bold perceptions, and unappealing self-righteousness in evidence.

Anna Quindlen Reviews My Brother

Anna Quindlen, New York Times, writes that Kincaid's style is connected to the way people remember, without direct shape or form.


Now that memoir is the genre du jour, it is fashionable for readers to describe the best of them as being just like novels in their sharp characterizations and larger-than-life life stories. The problem with this observation is that memory is not much like fictional narrative at all. If a novel is a line, more or less, memory is connect-the-dots. Or perhaps even that is too direct, suggesting an order to our thoughts, a clear picture at the end. Memory feels more aimless than that, sometimes gliding, sometimes lurching from past to present, fantasy to reality, place to place.

My Brother; A Book Review

Peter Kurth
Salon favorable book review.

This is the enormous fly in Kincaid's literary ointment -- the fact that her mother remains unmoved, dominant, implacable and right, no matter what Kincaid says or thinks about her. She's on a self-imposed merry-go-round, whirling endlessly over ancient griefs and unhealed wounds, sitting on a battered, paint-peeled pony while her mother rides, permanently ahead of her, on a stately gilded horse. 
At his funeral, when the minister preaches to her about the afterlife, she remarks that "I did not like that at all ... I did not want to be with any of these people in another world. I had had enough of them in this one; they mean everything to me and they mean nothing, and even so, I do not really know what I mean when I say this." Which is why Kincaid keeps writing about them, undoubtedly -- to find out, or find out more. The only question that remains is how much longer she can mine this particular pit.

SALON | Oct. 9, 1997
Peter Kurth is a writer and biographer who lives in Burlington, Vt.

Jamaica Kincaid in People Magazine

Joanne Kaufman highlights Jamaica Kincaid's ordinary life in People Magazine. 15 December 1997
One car per hour passes Kincaid's three-acre property, much of it given over to her flower, fruit and vegetable gardens. In the front yard are there-mains of a wooden Succoth booth, covered in stalks of grain and leaves, that was constructed for the Jewish festival of tabernacles. Kincaid, who was raised a Methodist and converted four years ago to Judaism, which is also the religion of her husband, is reticent on the subject of faith. "I don't know why," she says, "but I do feel that God is a private issue." She is also, typically, passionate about her belief: Somehow it doesn't come as a surprise that she is president of the local 100-plus-member Congregation Beth El. "Jamaica will show up at a business meeting in overalls with garden dirt under her nails. She is able to win the respect of CEOs and persuade them to commit time and money to the synagogue," says Beth El's rabbi, Howard Cohen. "There is something of the prophet in her writing," he adds. "She writes a lot about oppression and makes people uncomfortable, which is what the prophets did."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Covi an Italian Professor in Canada

Geovanna Covi's Essay on Jamaica Kincaid (on PDF)

 "Jamaica Kincaid's Political Place: A Review Essay," Caribana, Rome, Italy. 1990, 1, 93-103.

In Defense of Kincaid's Criticism- Haiti and Missionaries

Photo credit and location at article link.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, in The Church -Sponsored Cultural Genocide, argues that Jamaica Kincaid's concerns about conversion and cultural genocide are founded in fact, sighting that the radio stations are calling for Haitians to repent in order to avert further disaster [retribution from a displeased god].

Seriously: Conservatives against Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid's Anti-Christian, Nonsensical Remarks about Haiti and Capitalism by Charles C. Johnson.

Charles Johnson's conservative article/editorial takes Kincaid's background and sums it up as ignorance/stupidity because she is lacking in degreed education and understanding of Capitalism; and calls her a racist (white) because she criticizes the motives of Christians who are sending aid to Haiti. The reading audiences' follow up comments are harshly ignorant in tone.

Writer- writing Talk

Rollins College-American Novelist Jamaica Kincaid 2008 Selected quotes:

Jamaica Kincaid was born in 1949 in St. John’s, Antigua. As an only child, she maintained a close relationship with her mother until the age of nine, when the first of her three brothers was born. At the age of 16, with a growing ambivalence for her family and a rising contempt for the subservience of the Antiguans to British colonialist rule, Kincaid left Antigua, bound for New York. After working for three years and taking night classes at a community college, Kincaid won a full scholarship to Franconia College in New Hampshire. However, after a year of feeling “too old to be a student,” she dropped out of school, returned to New York and secured a job writing interviews for a teenage girls magazine.
The reading was followed by an interview with Philip Deaver, director of Winter With the Writers. During the interview, Kincaid talked about the autobiographical elements to all of her stories, how she found her voice by writing about her past and how her interests and knowledge in other areas intertwine and become part of her writing. 

She also shared, “I had to find my freedom because I was just 16 when I got to America and I was afraid and homesick, but I was determined to write. I think I found my voice through writing about my past. Everything I write is autobiographical. But I do not at all feel like I have put myself down on paper enough for anyone to really know me. I don’t even know myself well enough. I write autobiographically to explore, not to expose myself."
A visiting professor at Harvard University, where she teaches creative writing, Kincaid is at work on a new novel, See Now Then. The book is about a family in the small village of North Bennington, Vermont.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Research links of Jamaica Kincaid

Great info about JK and links to biographical details and articles can be found at this Bedford site and photo credit  here.

Flag of Antigua and Barbuda

image credit

Jamaic Kincaid Critical of US Christian Groups

Published: February 12, 2010 3:00 a.m.

Author defends Haitian religion (link to article and photo credit)

Kelly Soderlund
The Journal Gazette

Jamaica Kincaid knew she was going to annoy any Christians in the room, but she was willing to risk it.
While speaking to the media Thursday, the author and professor started reflecting on a trip to Haiti two years ago and wondered why it took an earthquake for the United States to pay attention to the impoverished nation.“I think, on the whole, church groups should be banned from these places,” said Kincaid, a native of Antigua.Many Haitians follow Voodoo as their religion. Christian groups don’t like it and are only in the country to try to spread Christianity, she said.“Their main reason for going there is to eradicate this belief,” Kincaid said.