On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from 6.30 to 8.30pm, collective reading of Jamaica Kincaid's The Autobiography of My Mother (1996).

Throughout the summer, we invite you to join us for collective readings in the CRAC Alsace garden. To participate, please contact Richard Neyroud at r.neyroud@cracalsace.com or by phone at 03 89 08 82 59.

«The present is always perfect. No matter how happy I had been in the past I do not long for it. The present is always the moment for which I live. The future I never long for, it will come or it will not; one day it will not. But it does not loom up before me, I am never in a state of anticipation. The future is not even like the black space above the sky, with an intermittent spark of light; it is more like a room with no ceiling or floor or walls, it is the present that gives it such a shape, it is the present that encloses it. The past is a room full of baggage and rubbish and sometimes things that are of use, but if they are of real use, I have kept them.»*

Jamaica Kincaid, born as Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson on May 25, 1949 in Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda, is an American-Antiguan writer. She currently lives and teaches in the United States, having left the island of Antigua at the age of 16 to move to New York. In 1973, she adopted the pen name Jamaica Kincaid and, the following year, began to contribute writing to The New Yorker, where she became a full-time columnist in 1976. Her novels, often autobiographical, address family relations as influenced by colonial history.

«That 'these people' were ourselves, that this insistence on mistrust of others—that people who looked so very much like each other, who shared a common history of suffering and humiliation and enslavement, should be taught to mistrust each other, even as children, is no longer a mystery to me. The people we should naturally have mistrusted were beyond our influence completely; what we needed to defeat them, to rid ourselves of them, was something far more powerful than mistrust. To mistrust each other was just one of the many feelings we had for each other, all of them the opposite of love, all of them standing in the place of love. It was as if we were in competition with each other for a secret prize, and we were afraid that someone else would get it; any expression of love, then, would not be sincere, for love might give someone else the advantage.»**

* Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of My Mother. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013 (reprint).
** Ibid.