Kincaid, Jamaica,1949–, West Indian–American writer, b. Antigua as Elaine Potter Richardson. She immigrated to the United States at 16 and later became a U.S. citizen. Changing her name (1973), she became a New Yorker staff writer in 1976, working there until 1996. Kincaid first became known for her lush tales of Caribbean life—in her first short-story collection, At the Bottom of the River (1983), and in Annie John (1985), a semiautobiographical series of related stories that explore the complexity of mother-daughter connections. Her later fiction continues the style and themes of these works. Dark and personal, they often feature clear-eyed yet lyrical portraits of everyday reality in the postcolonial West Indies. Her novels include Lucy (1990), The Autobiography of My Mother (1996), Mr. Potter (2002), and the stream-of-consciousness, apparently semiautobiographical dissection of a marriage's dissolution, See Now Then (2013). Kincaid has also written nonfiction, notably A Small Place (1988), a long and angry essay on Antigua, and My Brother (1997), an incantatory memoir of her brother's death from AIDS. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable gardener, she is also the author of many essays on the subject and of My Garden (Book) (1999).
See studies by M. Ferguson (1994), D. Simmons (1994), H. Bloom, ed. (1998), L. Paravisini-Gebert (1999), L. Golmore (2000), and S. A. J. Alexander (2002).
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Kincaid, Jamaica (b. Shawn)(1949– ) writer; born in St. John, Antigua, West Indies. She emigrated to New York City and became a staff writer for the New Yorker in 1976. She has won recognition for her collections of short stories, such as At the Bottom of the River (1983), and Annie John (1985), a short story cycle. Her work is noted for its telling detail and poetic diction.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.