"Staceyann's courage, sensitivity, and bravery are exposed on these
vulnerable pages. Captured is the fire, passion, and light I
experience when she performs. Liberating, beautiful, and
life-affirming, "The Other Side of Paradise" is simply incredible."
-- Russell Simmons, author of "Do You!"
"The human family is a complex ecosystem, a magnificent experiment of righteous diversity. "The Other Side of Paradise" captures the evocative struggle of one strong but fragile flower. Staceyann breaks our hearts a little, and then brings us safely, gratefully, home." -- Rebecca Walker, author of "One Big Happy Family" and "Black White and Jewish"
"A completely absorbing account of how a girl born into denial and contempt can grow up resilient, sane, and full of purpose. She also shows me a culture I knew far too little about -- the everyday life of young people in Jamaica and the threat of violence looming over anyone who might be too independent or queer or outrageous. How wonderful that this outrageous, talented, determined woman has given us her story." -- Dorothy Allison, author of "Bastard Out of Carolina" and "Cavedweller"
"Staceyann Chin's memoir is a heartbreaking feat of unflinching memory and language. Set in a Jamaica far from the tourist brochures, "The Other Side of Paradise" is Chin's rich and nuanced story of family and abandonment, love and brutality, and a child's struggle to survive and find a home that will accept her. A remarkable young woman emerges, whose gift for poetry has been forged by poverty, religiosity, and a circle of adults who found the child in their care. This is "A Portrait of the Artist" written for our age. I love this book -- and I am completely hamstrung by the feelings it evokes." -- Walter Mosley