Jamaica Kincaid (b. 1949)

Caribbean American journalist, novelist, and garden writer. Born Elaine Richardson in St. John’s, Antigua, Kincaid moved to New York City when she was seventeen and worked first as a domestic helper and then as a fact-checker for Forbes magazine, a role that eventually led her to the New Yorker, where she became a staff writer in 1976. Publishing as Jamaica Kincaid because her family disapproved of her writing, she has produced a collection of short stories, At the Bottom of the River (1983); such novels as Annie John (1985), Lucy (1990), The Autobiography of My Mother (1995), and Mr. Potter (2002); and several books on gardening, including My Garden (2001), a collection of essays. Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas (2005) chronicles Kincaid’s journey in search of rare plants to bring home to her Vermont garden. Kincaid presently teaches literature at Claremont McKenna College. See also voices.cla.umn.edu.