28 June, 2013

Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus : Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison by Deborah Jiang Stein [Suneeta, Highland Park Library]

To be born heroin-addicted, in a prison, is not something to be wished on any child. What is amazing about Deborah Stein is how she has taken this misfortune and turned it into a gift for others. After spending the first year of her life in prison during her mother’s sentence, she was adopted by two professors and raised in middle-class privilege. Her well-meaning parents however were uncommunicative about Deborah’s birth and roots. At 12, she accidentally stumbles upon the letter that contains the circumstances of her birth. The years after, are filled with turmoil as she struggles with the secrecy and shame of her identity and spirals uncontrollably into crime, drugs and violence. It is only when she is in her late twenties that she finally emerges out of the dark hole that is her life.

Today Deborah shares her experiences to reach out to others. She is a motivational speaker for women in prison and her story is a shining example of coming to terms with one’s past, the capability to turn around a life, a story of redemption and joy.

Written honestly, in a clear, direct style, this memoir is filled with bitter-sweet thoughts and insights from a life, which like the tutu in the title, is one that is “fierce and frill all in one”.  A book that in some small way is sure to change you.

Title: Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison
Author: Deborah Jiang Stein
ISBN: 978187345507
Published: 2012
Publisher: Cell 7 Media

 - Suneeta, Highland Park Library

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