Sunday, 12 June 2011

Q-&-A: Five questions for author Staceyann Chin

SIGN ME UP: Chin autographs a copy of her book for Jean Small.

Last Thursday evening at Bookophilia (Hope Road, St. Andrew), Chin, 38, read excerpts from her crowd-pleasing 2009 memoir The Other Side of Paradise (Scribner), which charts her climb from ambitious island girl to internationally-recognized spoken word artist, writer and activist. She spoke with TALLAWAH:

1. Reaction to your emotional life story The Other Side of Paradise has largely been positive. Is that surprising?
It’s not surprising. I’m just pleased that my story is resonating with people. And some people have been more than kind in their responses.

2. You’re still pretty young for someone with such a powerful memoir already. Are you planning a follow-up?
Maybe. I don’t know. If I do write another personal story it will probably be about motherhood.

3. V.S. Naipaul recently stirred controversy for his comments that women writers are “unequal” to him and tend to write “tosh.” Your thoughts.
Naipaul has always been sexist, so [his comments] are nothing unexpected. But I fight against that kind of argument.

4. Is the world becoming more gay-friendly?
In some places, but in places like the Middle East not much is changing. Across the world, though, there are pockets where it looks like society is slowly opening up.

5. What’s on your summer reading list?
Not much. I’m planning to mostly chill this summer, but I am currently reading Edwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously.

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