Jamaica Kincaid on How to Live and How to Write

Jamaica Kincaid

I must confess I am not familiar with Jamaica Kincaid or her works, but this collection of her quotes in Literary Hub makes me hunger for more. Here’s a small sample:

  • A professional writer is a joke. You write because you can’t do anything else, and then you have another job. I’m always telling my students go to law school or become a doctor, do something, and then write. First of all you should have something to write about, and you only have something to write about if you do something.
  • Life has a truth to it, and it’s complicated—it’s love and it’s hatred. Love and hatred don’t take turns; they exist side by side at the same time. And one’s duty, one’s obligation every day, is to choose to follow the nobler one.
  • I want to write until I die, and I hope to live a long time. I don’t want to reach a plateau; what I am interested in is living, living.

Ha! Love it. Want to read more? Check out the rest at Literary Hub.

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10 thoughts on “Jamaica Kincaid on How to Live and How to Write”

  1. All were great quotes, but I particularly liked the one about stuff…we all have too much stuff, and it can take over your life. Recently, I got rid of a lot of stuff, and plan on freeing myself of even more.
    Great read, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MC Clark,

      My favorite is the quote about the necessity of DOING something before you can write with any authority. I used to day-dream about living with my parents after college and writing full-time rather than what I actually did: getting married, getting a job, and raising a kid. But what would a 24 year old with no significant life experience have to write about?

      Liked by 1 person

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