When novelist Jamaica Kincaid takes the stage at the Calabash International Literary Festival to be held at Treasure Beach in Jamaica, it will represent the return of a writer whose words have become inextricably connected with the story of Jamaica’s economic challenges, Jamaica’s Gleaner reports.
Kincaid’s appearance has been facilitated by Carib Export funding. Kincaid’s book, A Small Place, was the primary source of the narrative text for the award-winning Life and Debt, a documentary about Jamaica’s economic crisis.
Kincaid, though, is better known as the author of engaging fiction that explores the experience of people who straddle the world of the Caribbean and the world of North America.
At Calabash, she will be a featured author in the ‘Reasonings’ series which involves an onstage interview with a major author.
This year, Salman Rushdie will account for the other featured author. In the past, Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka have graced the stage, as have luminaries such as Professor Orlando Patterson, Pico Iyer and South African ANC activist Ronnie Kasrils, all offering engaging and memorable moments to the Calabash legacy.
Kincaid, who was born in St John’s, Antigua, has had an illustrious career as a novelist since the publication of her critically celebrated collection of stories, At the Bottom of the River, in 1983.
Since then, her novels like Lucy and Annie John have become classics in Caribbean literature and continue to be taught in programmes all around the world.
Kincaid’s most recent work of fiction is the novel See Now Then (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which explores with candor, humour and pathos, the ending of a middle-aged couple’s marriage in New England.
Fernanda Eberstadt, in her New York Times review of the novel, praises the work for its “incantatory prose” and observes that the work “examines – in strains hurtling from satire to fairy-tale innocence to raw pain – the faulty nature of perception.”
Described as a woman, one of whose creative strengths is that she does not “curb her tongue”, Kincaid, in interviews, is generous, thoughtful, frank and always engagingly brilliant in her ideas about fiction, personal history, gardening and the uses of language in writing.
Jamaica Kincaid will grace the Calabash stage at noon on Sunday, June 1 in a one-on-one interview session that will range over an eclectic list of topics, including islands, gardens, music, family, truth, invention and art.
She will also read from See Now Then, and afterwards will be available to sign books and meet with her readers.
Calabash is made possible by the generous support of the CHASE Fund, Carib Export and The Jamaica Tourist Board, and hosted at Jakes in Treasure Beach.
The British Council and US State Department also facilitate the appearance of authors at the festival.
More information on the programme and participants is on the website http://www.calabashfestival.org and on the Calabash Jamaica Facebook page.
For the original report go to http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140515/ent/ent1.html