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Author Jamaica Kincaid Speaking at Simon's Rock Commencement
03:34PM / Monday, May 13, 2019
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Jamaica Kincaid, author of a dozen seminal works of fiction and nonfiction and professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University, will address graduates at the 50th commencement ceremony of Bard College at Simon's Rock on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. on Blodgett lawn.
 
Known for candid and emotionally honest writing, Kincaid has carved  out a place in the American literary landscape. Through her books and novels, including "Annie John," "Lucy," "At the Bottom of the River" and "A Small Place," she has attracted devoted fans across generations and ethnic boundaries with her distinctive, melodic style and penetrating treatment of social and political issues.
 
Kincaid's literary voice is deeply rooted in her experiences as a child in her native Antigua and has said growing up under the colonial rule of England instilled a tragic perspective. 
 
"I never give up thinking about the way I came into the world, how my ancestors came from Africa to the West Indies as slaves. I just never forget it. It's like a big wave that's still pulsing," she said.
 
Her work has been honored with numerous nominations and awards, including the 2014 American Book Award, which celebrates multiculturalism and free expression. "A Small Place," a critical look at the legacies of colonialism in Antigua, inspired the 2001 documentary "Life and Debt," about the impact globalization can have on a developing country.
 
Kincaid started her career as a staff writer and feature columnist for The New Yorker for nine years. She began her academic career in 1991 at Harvard, holding joint appointments in the English and African-American Studies departments. Today, she is the Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University. 
 
Bard College at Simon's Rock is the only college in the country specifically designed for bright, highly motivated students ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade. The liberal arts and sciences program is taught exclusively in small seminars by faculty who are leading scholars in their fields. It grants degrees in more than 35 majors.
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