Tales: Bloganuary (Inspired by Jamaica Kincaid)

The prompt for January 6th is “Who is someone that inspires you and why?

This is another difficult prompt because we encounter many inspirations throughout our lifetime. But, at the moment, I can only think of one person, and that person is Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson, an author who goes by the name Jamaica Kincaid. She is a Caribbean American author whose novel Annie John was required reading in my 8th grade year. I couldn’t say that I enjoyed reading Annie John in an academic setting, but I found myself drawn to it in my mid-20s. I re-read Annie John and followed that up with Lucy and The Autobiography of My Mother. I found Kincaid’s writing style and what she wrote about comforting because of the similarities. I took come from a very small place and just like Annie John I had a difficult relationship with my mother.

During my first year of college, I was ever so happy to write an autobiography essay about her. Because of this essay, something clicked, and I started writing my own stories. I discovered a love for writing, and at age 25, I told myself that I would publish a book for short stories someday. I am still working on that book as it’s taking me longer than expected, but I think I will know when it feels right to publish.

I want to take the time in this Bloganuary challenger to post a thank you to Kincaid for silently inspiring me. She went from being a child growing up on the small island of Antigua to becoming a writer for the New Yorker and now a professor.

Picture taken by Ann Summa for 2013 New York Times Interview


Her life, although not perfect, illustrated to me that anything is possible. At the same time, I will openly say that she has the career and life I would have wanted for myself. But, I am content with who I am and where I am now, and I think she, too, would be happy with that.

Who Inspires Me: Jamaica Kincaid

Why: She fostered my love for literature and writing

The photo above comes from a New York Times piece called “Never Mind the Parallels, Don’t Read It as My Life“, click on the link if you are curious. Gosh I hope I am not breaking any rules by inserting this picture, but it was such a lovely image of Jamaica.


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