Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid's latest novel is See Now Then.

From her 2012 Q & A with Liesl Schwabe for Publishers Weekly:

In the book, the phrase See Now Then repeats, both gaining and shifting meaning as it does. How much of that reprise comes through revision?

I write a lot in my head. The revision goes on internally. It’s not spontaneous and it doesn’t have a schedule. You know how some people write every day at a certain point? I’m not like that. I carry something around for a long time. I weigh the words and the sentences. I weigh the paragraphs. The process is much more meditative for me. So, when I put something down on paper, I’ve already edited a lot. I don’t think it’s a very efficient way to work, but it’s the way I do it. I am just very careful with what I put down. You know how if you’re making a gravy or something, the recipe calls for you to simmer until it reduces by two-thirds? I seem to simmer [a book] until it has been reduced by two-thirds.

Mrs. Sweet’s children often seem frustrated by her work as a writer. What were your own experiences balancing motherhood and writing?

Children like their mothers especially to be standing still and watching them, even if they are sleeping. At least that’s how I felt. There’s nothing wrong with the self-interest of children; it’s just the way they are. The mother has to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue