Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Work of a Single Sentence: Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid, who reads tonight in Saratoga, discusses the work of thought behind the single 11-word sentence that begins her novel about her biological father, Mr. Potter, a taxi driver on the island of Antigua, whom she first met as an adult.

From the New York Times, June 7, 1999:

"How do I write? Why do I write? What do I write? This is what I am writing: I am writing "Mr. Potter." It begins in this way; this is its first sentence: "Mr. Potter was my father, my father's name was Mr. Potter." So much went into that one sentence; much happened before I settled on those 11 words."  More.

Picture: Jamaica Kincaid with William Kennedy.