Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jamaica Kincaid: See Now Then

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Jamaica Kincaid is featured in the “10 Questions” section of Time magazine’s February 4 issue and I must say, I’m motivated to read more of her work. Evidently she has a new book out called See Now Then about a Caribbean writer who lives with her composer husband and their two children.


Although the description of the main character and her circumstances seem to parallel Kincaid’s life, she says the book isn’t about her.

In the interview, and apparently in her book, she talks about love, hatred, marriage, the concept of “dead” marriages, and a bit of her views on race and power.

Here are three of the Q&A excerpts that I find most intriguing:

Interviewer: What do you mean when you write that one form of love is hatred?
When you find someone you hate a lot, you should really look at it. It’s bending toward that thing called love. When you find someone you love intensely, you should watch it. It’s getting closer to its opposite.

There’s less in this book about slavery and race than in some of your prior work. Are you still interested in those subjects?
Race is not particularly interesting to me. Power is……

So it’s not interesting to you that the most powerful man in America is black?
Not really. But here’s an interesting thing. As I say, race is not important to me. The first time I saw Barack Obama, he gave a wonderful speech. But what made me really like him is that his wife came out and she was darker than he is. It’s so rare to see a black man married to a woman who is darker than he is.

And check this out! I didn’t know that Time has video footage of these interviews!

Watch Jamaica Kincaid answer Belinda Luscombe's 10 questions

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey I loved her comments so much that I actualy posted one on my face book page. She has an outstanding mind. Thats the kind of friend that you look for.

MaDear

Anonymous said...

All Right Now!!! She is awesome…I love anyone who tells it like it really is….

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

MaDear,

She does seem to have a great perspective on things. Very honest!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

That's what I'm talkin' about. You can tell the truth was just oozing out of her. I'm planning to read that book. I hope you can see the video too!

Anonymous said...

OH Yeah…I’m getting the book as well….Thanks for the heads up…
TA

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

De nada hermana!

Anonymous said...

good morning alicia,

i enjoy receiving messages from you. they are always timely. interesting that jamaica kincaid states that she is more interested in power than in race. when i reflect on the shifts in my life, growing up in the 50s and 60s, especially the late 60s in my rebellion years, afro, black power, etc. it has taken me long time to not focus so much on what was taken from us as a people and focus more on providing our youth with positive images and history of our actual heritage. i think because i grew up exposed more to other cultures i feel i need to regain (sankofa) what makes me. that is why i am writing my memoirs, capturing my parents' experiences that influence me.

a reading buddy of mine shared a novel, the twelve tribes of hattie by ayana mathis. i wanted to share it with you. i have not read it yet, but the theme of the character's experience with her family's journey through 50 decades attracted me to add it to my library.

sernuaaba heru-t

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

Hello sernuaaba,

It's great to hear from you.

You've hit upon a concept that is probably at the core of what, not only our young people, but all of our people need -- sankofa. I hope many people are exposed to your memoirs. It sounds like you have a lot of wise and needed information for all of us.

The twelve tribes of hattie sounds like a fascinating novel. Thank you for introducing it to me -- I will hunt that down very soon.

Thanks so much for commenting and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Peace,
Alicia