Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid (born Elaine Potter Richardson. May 25, 1949) is an Antiguan-American writer.

Kincaid was removed from school at sixteen to help support her family. One year later, her mother sent her to New York to work as au pair, and Jamaica cut relations with her family for the following twenty years. While working in the US, Kincaid enrolled in evening classes at a community college. Later, she started attending Franconia College in New Hampshire on a full scholarship, but dropped out of school. She became a writer for The Village VoiceThe Paris Review and The New Yorker.

She is a lecturer for African and African American Studies at Harvard University.


Uncollected fiction
  • “Ovando” (1989), Conjunctions 14: 75–83
  • “The Finishing Line” (1990), New York Times Book Review 18
  • “Biography of a Dress” (1992), Grand Street 11: 92–100
  • “Song of Roland” (1993), The New Yorker 69: 94–98
  • “Xuela” (1994), The New Yorker, 70: 82–92
Short story collections
  • At the Bottom of the River (1983)
Non-fiction books
  • A Small Place (1988)
  • My Brother (1997)
  • Talk Stories (2001)
  • My Garden Book (2001)
  • Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas (2005)
Uncollected non-fiction
  • “Antigua Crossings: A Deep and Blue Passage on the Caribbean Sea”(1978) Rolling Stone: 48–50.
  • “Figures in the Distance” (1983)
  • “On Seeing England for the First Time” (1991), Transition Magazine 51: 32–40
  • “Out of Kenya” (1991) New York Times: A15, A19, with Ellen Pall
  • “Flowers of Evil: In the Garden” (1992) The New Yorker 68: 154–159
  • “A Fire by Ice” (1993) The New Yorker 69: 64–67
  • “Just Reading: In the Garden” (1993) The New Yorker 69: 51–55
  • “Alien Soil: In the Garden” (1993) The New Yorker 69: 47–52
  • “This Other Eden” (1993) The New Yorker 69: 69–73
  • “The Season Past: In the Garden” (1994) The New Yorker 70: 57–61
  • “In Roseau” (1995) The New Yorker 71: 92–99.
  • “In History” (1997), The Colors of Nature
  • My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants they Love (1998), Editor
Children’s literature
  • Annie, Gwen, Lilly, Pam, and Tulip (1986)


  • 1984 Shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for At the Bottom of the River 1984.
  • 1985 Guggenheim Award for Fiction
  • 1997 Shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Friction for The Autobiography of My Mother
  • 2000 Prix Femina étranger for My Brother
  • 2011 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Tufts University
  • 2015 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Brandeis University

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