10 Things A Black Woman Writer Must Do:

1) Do not be a black woman writer.

2) If you come from an island in the Caribbean, that’s a mistake. The islands are not a proper place. People from places like the islands can’t write about being alienated, because how can you feel alienated in a place where people like to wear bikinis? Be a writer from England. Do not mention you are black.

3) You mustn’t write long sentences.

4) You mustn’t write about yourself.

5) Do not be abstract.

6) Do not write about race. Everyone will say you only write about race.

7) Write about race. If you don’t, they will point out that you haven’t written about race.

8) Do not be a black woman writer.

9) Do not be a black woman.

10) Do not be black.
— Jamaica Kincaid, during a lecture given as part of Columbia University’s creative writing lecture series

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