Jamaica Kincaid speaks about her life experiences

A full Woodruff Auditorium at Kansas University lias Jamaica Kincaid spoke about her famous writing Tuesday evening as a part of the Humanities Lecture Series presented by Hall Center for the Humanities—Rachel Salyer reports for The Kansan.

Kincaid, born Elaine Potter Richardson, grew up impoverished on the Caribbean island of Antigua, which was occupied by British forces during the ‘50s and ‘60s when Kincaid grew up.

Jamaica Kincaid, a West Indian writer, speaks for the Landscapes and Memory lecture held at Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union Tuesday night. Kincaid has 15 publications of novels and poetry.

Her literature is best known for its use of landscapes, strong female characters and characters who struggle colonization. Some of her well-known work includes “Annie John,” “A Small Place” and “Lucy.”

Kincaid classifies her works as autobiographical.

“Everything is autobiographical including the punctuation,” Kincaid joked. “It isn’t true in the sense of court of law, but is true in a sense of my life.”

Kincaid shared a chapter of her new book “See Now Then,” which will not be released until September, and took questions from the audience, most of which were about her experience in Antigua.

“I am a product of the colonial experience,” Kincaid said, referring to the racism and rigorous British school system she experienced in Antigua. “I once had to copy books one and two of Paradise Lost as punishment in school.”

For Kincaid, the love of reading is eventually what led her to write, and her passion for the two was infectious.

“Listening to her just really made me want to buy her new book and read more of her stuff,” Jamie Fuller, a sophomore from Wichita, said, who attended as a part of her evolution class.

“She had so many interesting things to say and the way she says it really puts you in her shoes,” Fuller said. “I really enjoyed the perspective it offered.”

Samantha Simmons, communication coordinator for the Hall Center, said Kincaid was the finale of their lecture series this year, which had a multicultural focus.

“We tried to pick well known or famous authors that the audience would be most likely be familiar with,” Simmons said. “We hope people enjoyed her because she has such a unique experience to offer as a West Indian writer who is also an American citizen.”

Kinkaid, now a professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, signed books for the audience after her lecture.

The Humanities Lecture Series begins again September 6 with poet Nikky Finney.

For the original report go to http://www.kansan.com/news/2012/apr/11/writer-speaks-about-her-life-experiences/

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