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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jamaica Kincaid Reads from her Work - April 4, 2007

Jamaica Kincaid, the celebrated Caribbean American author, will give a public reading of her work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Wednesday April 4 at 6:30pm in Room 6-120 (enter at 77 Massachusetts Ave.). This event is free and no tickets or reservations are necessary. This event is sponsored by the MIT Literature Faculty with assistance from the MIT Council for the Arts, and the Program in Women’s Studies.

Jamaica Kincaid is an accomplished novelist and essayist who began as a columnist for the New Yorker and has since published five novels, a collection of short stories, two essay collections, and the long essay A Small Place, which is one of the most outspoken critiques of British colonization in Anglophone literature.

Kincaid’s work has been noted for its simple, elegant prose that carries the weight of her controversial topics, including the love and hatred between a mother and daughter, her brother’s death from HIV/AIDS, the process of becoming a writer from a black woman’s perspective, and the pleasures and politics of gardening.

Kincaid’s work requires its readers to come face to face with the anger that comes from oppression, even if that anger makes the reader uncomfortable. That discomfort also involves pain and loss. The death of her brother, the ambivalence of her mother’s love, the loss of her island’s identity are all subjects that can be difficult to represent, but Kincaid is not afraid to depict them for her readers through her lyrical yet tangible language.

This is an excellent opportunity to expose the entire MIT community and the general public to the thriving field of Anglophone Caribbean literature and one of that field’s most influential writers. Kincaid’s work enables us to see the ways in which Caribbean literature functions as a truly international field that links Europe, West Africa, India, and the United States through the imaginations and experiences of its writers.

Jamaica Kincaid is currently a visiting professor at Harvard University where she teaches courses on creative writing, autobiography and Anglophone Caribbean women writers.

For additional information please contact Joli Divon at MIT Literature Section at or (617) 253-3581

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