Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jamaica Kincaid.

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Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2019538

When I write a book, I hope to be beyond mortal by the time I'm finished. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1539097

Do you see the queer thing about people like me? Sometimes we hold your retribution. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 232061

The truth we have to face about the world we live in is that it's driven by profit, and contradictions and doubts are not profitable. They yield wisdom, but wisdom is not profitable. I find pleasure in doubt, but let's face it, my pleasure is not very profitable. To me, the truth is that things mean many things at once, and all of them opposed to each other, and all of them true. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 660766

I picked a name that was a combination of an island name and a very English name. Havana was one choice and Dominico was another, but I liked the combination of Jamaica Kincaid. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 336190

She always said that she respected and liked us all equally, and I have to say that that attitude didn't go down well with me, accustomed as I was to being singled out and held up in a special way. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 514755

A psychiatrist once asked me to draw a picture of my family. This is when I was a member of a family of four. I drew the three other people in the family first, bodies and heads. And then, last, I began to draw myself - but gave up. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 902579

Isn't it the most blissful thing in the world to be away from everything you have ever known
to be so far away that you don't even know yourself anymore and you're not sure you ever want to come back to all of the things you're a part of? — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1985705

What I don't write is as important as what I write. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1891685

This is how you bully a man; this is how an man bullies you. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1252804

Every native of every place is a potential tourist, and every tourist is a native of somewhere. Every native everywhere lives a life of overwhelming and crushing banality and boredom and desperation and depression, and every deed, good and bad, is an attempt to forget this. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2013858

In the past, the thought of being in my present situation had been a comfort, but now I did not even have this to look forward to, and so I lay down on my bed and dreamt I was eating a bowl of pink mullet and green figs cooked in coconut milk, and it had been cooked by my grandmother, which was why the taste of it pleased me so, for she was the person I liked best in all the world and those were the things I like best to eat also. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 647307

There's something to be said about a slightly plump person - you have just enough of too much. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1624139

It's too easy to say this or that is "race," and that has been a vehicle for an incredible amount of wrong in the world. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1014515

That the world I was in could be soft, lovely, and nourishing was more than I could bear, and so I stood there and wept, for I didn't want to love one more thing that could make my heart break into a million little pieces at my feet. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1859144

But you know, where did the Brontes go to college? Where did George Eliot go to college? Where did Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson or George Washington go? Did George Washington go to college? This idea which we now have that people ought to have these credentials is really ridiculous. Where did Homer go to college? — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2049498

At the door I planted a kiss on Paul's mouth with an uncontrollable ardor that I actually did feel-a kiss of treachery, for I could still taste the other man in my mouth. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1746654

I loved Charlotte Bronte when I was little, and I wanted to be Charlotte Bronte the way people want to be a princess. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1848074

I come from a little island with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. I come from, really, nowhere, and for me, the fiction and the nonfiction, creative or otherwise, all come from the same place. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1713265

If I describe a person's physical appearance in my writing, which I often do, especially in fiction, I never say someone is "black" or "white." I may describe the color of their skin - black eyes, beige skin, blue eyes, dark skin, etc. But I'm not talking about race. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1635610

I'm sometimes afraid I'll cross a line and it'll be difficult to come back, say, to dinner. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1552195

I would never never read a work of fiction and want to know about the person's life. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1926679

People don't make changes because things are wonderful. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1693806

All roads come to an end, and all ends are the same, trailing off into nothing; even an echo eventually will be silenced (Kincaid 215). — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1477124

In a way, a garden is the most useless of creations, the most slippery of creations: it is not like a painting or a piece of sculpture - it won't accrue value as time goes on. Time is its enemy' time passing is merely the countdown for the parting between garden and gardener. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 723758

Everybody knew that men have no morals, that they do not know how to behave, that they do not know how to treat other people. It was why men like laws so much; it was why they had to invent such things-they need a guide. When they are not sure what to do, they consult this guide. If the guide gives them advice they don't like, they change the guide. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 482035

Lucy, a girl's name for Lucifer. That my mother would have found me devil-like did not surprise me, for I often thought of her as god-like, and are not the children of gods devils? I did not grow to like the name Lucy-I would have much preferred to be called Lucifer outright-but whenever I saw my name I always reached out to give it a strong embrace. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1729067

Another thing I like to say to my students is this: "How many Corinthians read Paul's letters?" The answer is none. They couldn't have cared less! There aren't even any Corinthians left, but Paul's letters persist. Paul was not a professional writer. He was called to something, and he sent his letters. That's a good way to look at it. That you might be making something that nobody cares about, but you have to do it. It's not that people should care, but that you should care. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 589933

I didn't think of myself as an outsider because of my race because ... where I grew up I was the same race as almost everyone else ... It is true that I noticed things that no one else seemed to notice. And I think only people who are outsiders do this. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2052625

The night-soil men can see a bird walking in trees. It isn't a bird. It is a woman who has removed her skin and is on her way to drink the blood of her secret enemies. It is a woman who has left her skin i a corner of a house made out of wood. It is a woman who is reasonable and admires honeybees in the hibiscus. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1367453

I used to want to be a backup singer. Not a lead singer, because I really can't sing. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1550302

I'm always surprised to hear or read my work described, "In angry tones, she says." No! In truthful tones! Does truth have a tone? I don't know. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2108758

And my difficulties were these: I found each plant, each new turn in the road, each new turn in the weather, from cold to hot and then back again, each new set of boulders so absorbing, so new, and the newness so absorbing, and I was so in need of an explanation for each thing, that I was often in tears, troubling myself with questions, such as what am I and what is the thing in front of me. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 963659

Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that all people like me seem to have learned from you is how to imprison and murder each other, how to govern badly, and how to take the wealth of our country and place it in Swiss bank accounts? Have you ever wondered why it is that all we seem to have learned from you is how to corrupt our societies and how to be tyrants? You will have to accept that this is mostly your fault — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1251386

I didn't know it was possible to be successful as a writer, so I wasn't afraid to fail. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 125756

Of course, I now see that good behaviour is the proper posture of the weak, of children. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 153035

The thing about writing in America is that writers in America have an arc. You enter writing as a career, you expect to be successful, and really it's the wrong thing. It's not a profession. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 163183

I'm trying to earn a living in the way that is most enjoyable to me. I love the world of literature, and I hope to support myself in it. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 163785

Something settiled inside me, something heavy and hard. It stayed there, and i could not think of one thing to make it go away. I thought, So this must be living, this must be the beginning of the time people later refer to as 'years ago, when I was young'. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 176288

The first step in claiming yourself is anger. You get mad. And you can't do anything before you get angry. And I recommend getting very angry to everyone, anyone. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 258604

Observing any human being from infancy, seeing someone come into existence, like a new flower in bud, each petal first tightly furled around another, and then the natural loosening and unfurling, the opening into a bloom, the life of that bloom, must be something wonderful to behold; to see experience collect in the eyes, around the corners of the mouth, the weighing down of the brow, the heaviness in heart and soul, the thick gathering around the waist, the breasts, the slowing down of footsteps not from old age but only with the caution of life-all this is something so wonderful to observe, so wonderful to behold; the pleasure for the observer, the beholder, is an invisible current between the two, observed and observer, beheld and beholder, and I believe that no life is complete, no life is really whole, without this invisible current, which is in many ways a definition of love. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 263978

By then I already knew that I wanted to have a powerful odor and would not care if it gave offense. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 337680

I think in many ways the problem that my writing would have with an American reviewer is that Americans find difficulty very hard to take. They are inevitably looking for a happy ending. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 361456

Everyone who knew me as a child, they say they're not surprised that I became a writer because I wrote all the time. I don't remember writing, because I wouldn't have had the tools, but I think what they are saying is that I would pretend I was a writer. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 374488

But there was no use pretending: I was not the sort of person who counted blessings; I was the sort of person for whom there could never be enough blessings. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 400536

In my writing, I'm often describing a universal situation. A situation in which human beings often choose to violate each other. Sometimes I happen to explore that in terms of the black/white dynamic. Generally, a white person does not like me to say, or does not like to be told, "You know, what you did was incredibly wrong." — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 446993

When once I got to America I fell in love with hippie culture, and I've always wanted to live in the country and grow organic vegetables. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 471816

What distinguished my life from my brother's is that my mother didn't like me. When I became a woman, I seemed to repel her. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 569694

In isolation I ruthlessly plow the deep silences, seeking my opportunities like a miner seeking veins of treasures. In what shallow glimmering space shall I find what glimmering glory? — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 583019

When I write nonfiction, it's always absolutely true. There will be no moment in my nonfiction where I have made something up and have to apologize to the bullying hostess of a talk show. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 602760

Of course, every time I end a book, I look down at myself and I'm just the same. I'm always disappointed that I'm just the same, but not enough to never do it again! — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 626816

The history of race relations in America is very different than something like the Holocaust. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 659489

There is a certain way that life ought to be, an ideal way, a perfect way, and there is the way that life is, not quite the opposite of ideal, not quite the opposite of perfect, it just is not quite the way it should be but not quite the way it should not be either; I mean to say that in any situation, only one or two, maybe even three out of ten, things are just what you have been praying for. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 750658

I think a woman is powerless if she cannot freely claim the right to her reproductive capacity. Society can talk about anything it likes, except a woman's reproductive existence. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 754406

Do you know why people like me are shy about being capitalists? Well, its because we, for as long as we have known you, were capital, like bales of cotton and sacks of sugar, and you were commanding, cruel capitalists, and the memory of this so strong, the experience so recent, that we can't quite bring ourselves to embrace this idea that you think so much of. As for hat we were like before we met you, I no longer care. No periods of time over which my ancestors held sway, no documentation of complex civilisations, is any comfort to me. Even if I really came from people who were living like monkeys in trees, it was better to be that than what happened to me, what I became after I met you. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 758077

It is true that our skin is sort of more or less the same shade. But is it true that our skin color makes us a distinctive race? No. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 819675

I'm so used to being misunderstood. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 836693

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. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 867790

All of these declarations of what writing ought to be, which I had myself-though, thank God I had never committed them to paper-I think are nonsense. You write what you write, and then either it holds up or it doesn't hold up. There are no rules or particular sensibilities. I don't believe in that at all anymore. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 868408

Express everything you like. No word can hurt you. None. No idea can hurt you. Not being able to express an idea or word will hurt you more. Like a bullet. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 896729

Children like their mothers especially to be standing still and watching them, even if they are sleeping. At least that's how I felt. There's nothing wrong with the self-interest of children; it's just the way they are. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 911525

I had begun to see the past like this: there is a line; you can draw it yourself, or sometimes it gets drawn for you; either way, there it is, your past, a collection of people you used to be — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 919237

Of course his life could be found in the pages of a book; I had just begun to notice that the lives of men always are. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 924261

I understood that I was inventing myself, and that I was doing this more in the way of a painter than in the way of a scientist. I could not count on precision or calculation; I could only count on intuition. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 930750

I write a lot in my head. The revision goes on internally. It's not spontaneous and it doesn't have a schedule. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 968857

I grew up in a place where books were very, very scarce, and I loved to read. I used to read the writing on my breakfast Ovaltine over and over again because it was in front of me, and I couldn't help but read anything that was in front of me. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1035172

No action in the present is an action planned with a view of its effect on the future. When the future, bearing its own events, arrives, its ancestry is then traced in a trancelike retrospect, at the end of which, their mouths and eyes wide with their astonishment, the people in a small place reveal themselves to be like children being shown the secrets of a magic trick. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1080682

I swim in a shaft of light, upside down, and I can see myself clearly, through and through, from every angle. Perhaps I stand on the brink of a great discovery. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1107414

I did not care about being a virgin and had long been looking forward to the day when I could rid myself of that status, but when I saw how much it mattered to him to be the first boy I had been with, I could not five him such a hold over me. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1108819

It's very funny, American society: White culture can do all sorts of things and get away with it, but the minute a black person does it, it's interpreted in some way. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1136803

I went back to my cabin and lay down on my berth. Everything trembled as if it had a spring at its very center. I could hear the small waves lap-lapping around the ship. They made an unexpected sound, as if a vessel filled with liquid had been placed on its side and now was slowly emptying out. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1138738

When people say you're charming you are in deep trouble. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1292817

This way of behaving, this way of feeling, so hysterical, so sad, when someone has died, I don't like at all and would like to avoid. It's not as if the whole thing has not happened before, it's not as if people have not been dying all along and each person left behind is the first person ever left behind in the world. What to make of it? Why can't everybody just get used to it? People are born and they just can't go on and on, but it is so hard, so hard for the people left behind; it's so hard to see them go, as if it had never happened before, and so hard it could not happen to anyone else, no one but you could survive this kind of loss, seeing someone go, seeing them leave you behind; you don't want to go with them, you only don't want them to go. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1329051

A tourist is an ugly human being — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1361100

I know that the fantastic amount of profit that people want to make on anything is damaging. And that none of us seem able to resist it. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1407069

Once you cease to be a master, once you throw off your master's yoke, you are no longer human rubbish, you are a human being, and all the things that adds up to. So, too, with the slaves. Once they are no longer slaves, once they are free, they are no longer noble and exalted; they are just human beings. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1433479

I was given a dictionary when I was seven, and I read it because I had nothing else to read. I read it the way you read a book. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1463545

Time is the element that controls the consciousness, the very being of the people. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1488717

It is sad that unless you are born a god, your life,from its very beginning, is a mystery to you. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1493937

She talked in one of her memoirs of ignoring her little brother when she was supposed to be looking after him: I liked reading a book much more than I liked looking after him (and even now I like reading a book more than I like looking after my own children ... ) — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1501375

There's a difference between bravery and rash stupidity. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1546559

I can't get upset about 'offensive to women' or 'offensive to blacks' or 'offensive to Native Americans' or 'offensive to Jews' ... Offend! I can't get worked up about it. Offend! — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1654440

I began to feel alternately too big and too small. First, I grew so big that I took up the whole street; then I grew so small that nobody could see me - not even if I cried out. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1677002

When I start to write something, I suppose I want it to change me, to make me into something not myself. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1764550

I've come to see that I'm saying something that people generally do not want to hear. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1780918

I've written a book about my mother, and I don't remember anyone going to Antigua or calling up my mother and verifying her life. There is something about this book that drives people mad with the autobiographical question. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1797159

We had accepted each other's shortcomings and differences; then, just when we began to feel the yoke of each other's companionship, just when we began to feel the beginnings of what might eventually lead to lifelong loathing, we decided to move in together. It could have been worse. People marry at times like tat; they then have ten children, live under the same roof for years and years, eventually die and arrange to be buried side by side. We only signed our names to a two year lease. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1803514

I grew up in this poor place, with very limited circumstances, at about 16 years of age was sent by my family to work, and instead of remaining in the position into which I was sent, I somehow worked my way out of it without any help from anyone, just luck. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1857759

I loved very much - and so used to torment until she cried - a girl named Sonia. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1883750

Who you are is a mystery no one can answer, not even you. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1902595

On their way to freedom, some people find riches, some people find death. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1920177

The photograph of my brother that is in this album shows a young man, beautiful and perfect in the way of young people, for young people are always perfect and beautiful until they are not, until the moment they just are not. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1927683

I never wanted to live in that place again, but if for some reason I was forced to live there again, I would never accept the harsh judgments made against me by people whose only power to do so was that they had known me from the moment I was born. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1935538

When I looked at them sitting around me, the church in the distance, beyond that our school, with throngs of girls crossing back and forth in the schoolyard, beyond that the world, how I wished that everything would fall away, so that suddenly we'd be sitting in some different atmosphere, with no future full of ridiculous demands, no need for any sustenance save our love for each other, with no hindrance to any of our desires, which would, of course, be simple desires - nothing, nothing, just sitting on our tombstones forever. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 1944273

Something I had always known - the way I knew my skin was the color brown of a nut rubbed repeatedly with a soft cloth, or the way I knew my own name - something I took completely for granted, "the sun is shining, the air is warm," was not so. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2042038

If you just sit there, and you're a writer, you're bound to write crap. A lot of American writing is crap. And a lot of American writers are professionals. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2088578

A great piece of literature encompasses all that is and all that will be. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2091543

I cannot tell you how angry it makes me to hear people from North America tell me how much they love England, how beautiful England is, with its traditions. All they see is some frumpy, wrinkled-up person passing by in a carriage waving at a crowd. But what I see is the millions of people, of whom I am just one, made orphans: no motherland, no fatherland, no gods, no mounds of earth for holy ground, no excess of love which might lead to the things that an excess of love sometimes brings, and worst and most painful of all, no tongue. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2140105

When people say you're charming you're in deep trouble. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2212828

I like to be in my pajamas all day. Sometimes I don't wash for days because I like to read and sit around. I like to eat in bed. — Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid Quotes 2252073

I understood finding the place you are born in an unbearable prison and wanting something completely different from what you are familiar with, knowing it represents a haven. — Jamaica Kincaid