Caribbean novelist Jamaica Kincaid will address the Grinnell College class of 2012 at the Exercises of Commencement in the 166th year of Grinnell College, on at 10 a.m. Monday, May 21, on Central Campus.
Kincaid, known as a “significant voice in contemporary literature,” is the author of At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, A Small Place, Lucy, Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and other works. Her “highly personal, stylistic, and honest writings” are considered loosely autobiographical from her upbringing in Antigua, with strong images of “tenuous mother-daughter relationships amid themes of anticolonialism.” Kincaid was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 for her works of short fiction, novels, and essays which have also appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Kenyon Review. She currently holds the Josephine Olp Weeks Chair as professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, Calif.
As Commencement speaker, Kincaid will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree from Grinnell. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Grinnell alumni:
- Patrick D. Irwin ’77, longtime performer with The B-52s art music group
- Carolyn Swartz Bucksbaum ’51, cultural and civic activist, philanthropist and Grinnell trustee
In the event of inclement weather, the May 21 Commencement ceremony will be held in the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center. The ceremony will also be live-streamed.