Jamaica Kincaid was born Elaine Potter Richardson on the Caribbean island of Antigua in 1949. Her mother had married for the second time and had three half-brothers to support, so at 17, she went as an au pair to New York, where she soon became a writer: Jamaica Kincaid. Her first story, »Girl«, appeared in the New Yorker, consisting of a single sentence, and made Kincaid abruptly famous. Many of her award-winning stories and novels deal with Kincaid’s special role as a daughter, as a woman, as a black woman, as a member of a former colony on the edge of the world. In addition to weighty themes, Kincaid has become famous for her idiosyncratic language and her strongly autobiographical approach, which she developed long before so-called memoirs came into vogue. Jamaica Kincaid has two children and converted to Judaism in 1993. She teaches African and African American Studies at Harvard and lives in Vermont, where, when not writing, she pursues her second passion: gardening.