Interview with Staceyann Chin

October, 2009
Staceyann Chin

Quick Start

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

SC: Jamaican-born woman, activist, writer, performer, New Yorker.

SS: What is your motto or maxim?

SC: If we do not speak, who will?

What Readers want to know...

SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

SC: A good book- or a good episode of Law & Order, or a good, sad movie. A cold night. Hot tea- maybe a glass of red wine. Someone who is comfortable with both silence and noise. Repeat throughout my life.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

SC: Being left; it doesn't get better as I age. Being left sucks.

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

SC: At home, with a little person who calls me mummy.

SS: With whom in history do you most identify?

SC: A long list of women who have struggled with issues of race, sex, class; Zora Neale Hurston, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Nanny of the Maroons, Virginia Woolfe, Nina Simone...the list is endless.

SS: Which living person do you most admire?

SC: Too many to list. Alice Walker. Dorothy Allison. Frances Goldin. Bell Hooks.

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?

SC: Negotiate. Navigate. Notion. With particiular reference to...

SS: What do you regret most?

SC: I regret moments where I have been unkind to people. I try to go back and apologize for those moments when I can.

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

SC: To see into hearts.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

SC: Remaining sane.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

SC: I can be inflexible if I think I am right- which may be too often.

SS: What’s your best quality?

SC: I am forgiving- and quick to apologize.

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

SC: A well written book.

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

SC: I'm argumentative.

SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

SC: Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter...

SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

SC: Voldemort

SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

SC: I would ask Harriet Tubman how she managed to keep going- no matter the black-out spells, the dogs they sent, the unwilling and frightened slaves- she kept going. I would want to know how she stayed on course.

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

SC: Food garbage in my bedroom or office garbage can.

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

SC: Playing scrabble. I can do that for hours.

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

SC: For brief moments I wonder what it would be like to be a waitress on a highway restaurant. I would love the cast of characters I might meet on an average day.

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

SC: Loyalty, honesty, and kindness.

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

SC: Sushi.

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

SC: Hmmm. Too many to list. I like angsty, radical women like Ani Difranco, and Tracy Chapman. I like vulnerable boys singers like John Mayer, Peter Cetera and Prince. I like boy bands like Collective Soul, and Smashing Pumpkins. I like risky passionate singers like Tina Turner and Nina Simone.

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