Jamaica Kincaid - Quotes

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I think life is difficult and that's that. I am not at all - absolutely not at all - interested in the pursuit of happiness. I am not interested in the pursuit of positivity. I am interested in pursuing a truth, and the truth often seems to be not happiness but its opposite. ---->>>

I come from a little island with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. I come from, really, nowhere, and for me, the fiction and the nonfiction, creative or otherwise, all come from the same place. ---->>>

One doesn't have to pursue unhappiness. It comes to you. You come into the world screaming. You cry when you're born because your lungs expand. You breathe. I think that's really kind of significant. You come into the world crying, and it's a sign that you're alive. ---->>>

One of the things reading does, it makes your loneliness manageable if you are an essentially lonely person. ---->>>

I'm so used to being misunderstood. ---->>>

I've never gotten used to winter and never will. ---->>>

People only say I'm angry because I'm black and I'm a woman. But all sorts of people write with strong feeling, the way I do. ---->>>

I like melancholy. I like to pretend that I'm alone in the world and I'm just sort of abandoned. ---->>>

Race is not particularly interesting to me. Power is. Who has power and who doesn't. Slavery interests me because it's an incredible violation that has not stopped. It's necessary to talk about that. Race is a diversion. ---->>>

When I write nonfiction, it's always absolutely true. There will be no moment in my nonfiction where I have made something up and have to apologize to the bullying hostess of a talk show. ---->>>

When I'm writing, I think about the garden, and when I'm in the garden I think about writing. I do a lot of writing by putting something in the ground. ---->>>

I suppose you could say I love outlaw American culture. ---->>>

I didn't really understand racism because I grew up in an all-black society, so I didn't see how it was possible not to like me! ---->>>

I love planting. I love digging holes, putting plants in, tapping them in. And I love weeding, but I don't like tidying up the garden afterwards. ---->>>

I used to want to be a backup singer. Not a lead singer, because I really can't sing. ---->>>

I write a lot in my head. The revision goes on internally. It's not spontaneous and it doesn't have a schedule. ---->>>

People don't make changes because things are wonderful. ---->>>

Tomorrow exists even though I may not exist in it. ---->>>

You know how some people write every day at a certain point? I'm not like that. I carry something around for a long time. I weigh the words and the sentences. I weigh the paragraphs. The process is much more meditative for me. ---->>>

I think in many ways the problem that my writing would have with an American reviewer is that Americans find difficulty very hard to take. They are inevitably looking for a happy ending. ---->>>

The English language started out as a distortion in my life, but nothing remains the same, and so the distortion is now just normal. That is one of the things that will happen to all distortions: They become normal and turn into something else. ---->>>

I can write anywhere. I actually wrote more than I ever did when I had small children. My children were never a hindrance. ---->>>

I didn't know it was possible to be successful as a writer, so I wasn't afraid to fail. ---->>>

I like cooking, but I think someone else ought to do the dishes. ---->>>

I like to be in my pajamas all day. Sometimes I don't wash for days because I like to read and sit around. I like to eat in bed. ---->>>

I loved Charlotte Bronte when I was little, and I wanted to be Charlotte Bronte the way people want to be a princess. ---->>>

I was given a dictionary when I was seven, and I read it because I had nothing else to read. I read it the way you read a book. ---->>>

I'll read anything. In fact, I'll read while I'm doing other things, which is not a good idea. ---->>>

The garden has taught me to live, to appreciate the times when things are fallow and when they're not. ---->>>

Time is the element that controls the consciousness, the very being of the people. ---->>>

What distinguished my life from my brother's is that my mother didn't like me. When I became a woman, I seemed to repel her. ---->>>

When once I got to America I fell in love with hippie culture, and I've always wanted to live in the country and grow organic vegetables. ---->>>

At the time I was taught to read, it was an Eden-like time of my life. My mother adored me. Everyone adored me. So I associate reading with enormous pleasure. ---->>>

Everyone who knew me as a child, they say they're not surprised that I became a writer because I wrote all the time. I don't remember writing, because I wouldn't have had the tools, but I think what they are saying is that I would pretend I was a writer. ---->>>

For me, writing isn't a way of being public or private; it's just a way of being. The process is always full of pain, but I like that. It's a reality, and I just accept it as something not to be avoided. ---->>>

I grew up in a place where books were very, very scarce, and I loved to read. I used to read the writing on my breakfast Ovaltine over and over again because it was in front of me, and I couldn't help but read anything that was in front of me. ---->>>

I have a sense of destiny because of my mother, who was an extraordinary person but a terrible candidate for mother. She was like the god Cronus, who gave birth to his children in the morning and then ate them at night. ---->>>

I have no credentials. I have no money. I literally come from a poor place. I was a servant. I dropped out of college. The next thing you know I'm writing for the 'New Yorker,' I have this sort of life, and it must seem annoying to people. ---->>>

It is true that I am a writer, and I was married to a composer, and I have lived in a small village in New England, but my children are not named Heracles and Persephone, and my daughter doesn't disappear underground every six months and emerge in the spring. ---->>>

When I moved out here to California, I became obsessed with geology. It's impossible not to be interested in the earth if you live in a place like this. I started to read a lot of geology, much to the horror of my friends. ---->>>

Children like their mothers especially to be standing still and watching them, even if they are sleeping. At least that's how I felt. There's nothing wrong with the self-interest of children; it's just the way they are. ---->>>

I grew up in this poor place, with very limited circumstances, at about 16 years of age was sent by my family to work, and instead of remaining in the position into which I was sent, I somehow worked my way out of it without any help from anyone, just luck. ---->>>

I have a photograph of myself when I was 2 years of age, and I don't recognize the person in the photograph. She doesn't look anything like me, and I can't find any trace of her in me physically. And yet I remember her very, very well - even her anxiety. ---->>>

I picked a name that was a combination of an island name and a very English name. Havana was one choice and Dominico was another, but I liked the combination of Jamaica Kincaid. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality:
Born: 05-25, 1949
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Novelist
Website:

Jamaica Kincaid (; born May 25, 1949) is an Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer. She was born in St. John's, Antigua, which is part of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. She lives in North Bennington, Vermont, during the summers and teaches at Harvard as the "Professor of African and African American studies in Residence" at Harvard during the academic year (wikipedia)