Jamaica Kincaid, one of the most prominent contemporary African-American writers, was born in 1949 on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean as Elaine Potter Richardson. In 1966 she moved to the US and worked as a nanny and desk clerk while completing her high school education, learning photography and earning her BA. In 1973 she published her first work, started contributing to various magazines and adopted the name Jamaica Kincaid. In 1976 she joined the permanent staff of The New Yorker magazine. Kincaid’s experiences growing up in Antigua under the pressures of poverty, colonialism, and an ambivalent mother inspire and inform the movement of her evocative, edgy, and sometimes controversial prose. Her writing erupts with sharp, piercing emotion and deals with issues of race, gender, colonialism, adolescent angst, loss, and tenuous mother-daughter relationships. Jamaica Kincaid currently lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. She lectures at Harvard University.