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,” and “My Brother.” 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 New Yorker, 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 Pat Irwin, longtime performer with the B-52s art music group, and Carolyn Swartz Bucksbaum, cultural and civic activist, philanthropist and Grinnell trustee.
Grinnell College, which annually confers B.A. degrees on more than 400 students, is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.
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 livestreamed at grinnell.edu. For further information about Grinnell College commencement, go to http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/confops/commencement.