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.

11 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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