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By Staceyann Chin


                Despite having their fair share of difficult times, this makeshift but loving family struggled together and Chin felt safe with her grandmother and brother at her side.  But when the family’s financial needs forced them to move into a shared household, Chin learned the hard way to repress her vivacious personality in order to blend with her environment.  Eventually, events conspired to permanently separate the three. The result is a tale of loss and family, or change and survival.


        Later, as Chin came of age in a succession of homes—some dysfunctional, some welcoming and some merely adequate, she developed an unbreakable sense of self.  Having always been a lively and spirited child, Chin grew into a bright, headstrong young woman, clearly on the verge of carving out a bigger existence for herself.  While her life has had many twists and turns, including a confrontation with the man she believes to be her father and her dangerous coming out in college, she has remained courageous in the face of adversity.  Told with grace, humor and courage, THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE is an unforgettable story of triumph against the odds.




About the Author

Staceyann Chin is a fulltime artist. A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one woman shows Off Broadway to poetry workshops in Denmark and London to co‑writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard‑working history and the pain of her mother's absence.





By Staceyann Chin

Scribner; April 14, 2009

288 pages, $24.00


 Staceyann Chin’s career has taken her to some very interesting places.  A cast member of Russell Simmons’ iconic Def Poetry Jam, an activist on behalf of gays and lesbians, minorities and women and a spokesperson for those not often fairly presented, she has traveled the world, appearing on Oprah and 60 Minutes and in the pages of publications as varied as the New York TimesOBitchElleThe AdvocateEssence and the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name but a few.


This is a big year for her.  First, she published her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, in April.  Now, she is set to receive a human rights award from the New York Senate in their “Salute to Pride” ceremony on June 25th.  She will be honored alongside the likes of Angela Lansbury, Allison Janney, Patrick Wilson and Lance Bass.  Past recipients include Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Whoopi Goldberg.  This is a tremendous honor and a huge PRIDE event for the gay community.  And Staceyann is a very deserving recipient.


Staceyann is many things and safe isn’t one of them.  She is humorous and larger than life, but she doesn’t shy away from the tough topics.  She’ll talk politics, gay marriage, the boycott in Jamaica and sex (you will laugh when she talks about sex!).  This video, taken at her Barnes & Noble reading in NYC, probably best shows her range 

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