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Center for Fiction Honors Jamaica Kincaid

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This year's Clifton Fadiman Medal was presented to Jamaica Kincaid for her coming of age novel Annie John. The award, established by the Center for Fiction in 2000, recognizes a book worthy of "rediscovery and wider readership." Novelist Jane Smiley served as the 2010 judge and presenter of the award. Kincaid received the medal at a ceremony held at the Center for Fiction and the organization's director, Noreen Tomassi, spoke about the award and introduced the two novelists.

Stream and download Kincaid and Smiley's discussion above for free.

Bon Mots

On Why She Chose Annie John: "In the most economical way possible, Kincaid communicated the nature of the mother-daughter bond. This is what love is. I had never read anything like it." —Jane Smiley

On Independence: "I had been cast out of that paradise I called home. The psychological need I had for my mother must have been great and must have been clear to everyone except me. So perhaps this book is also about a negotiation, I negotiated my way to independence." —Jamaica Kincaid

On Acceptance: "I am very grateful for this award, this medal — named in honor of a great man, white and dead at that, I’m sorry to say — in American literature. In that sentence, it is the 'American' that is important, for this novel about a girl coming of age on a small island in the Caribbean has become part of the American canon." —Jamaica Kincaid